OCT: A Precision Medicine Diagnostic Technique

OCT: A Precision Medicine Diagnostic Technique

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is one of the defining aspects of the Precision Medicine Center of Excellence for Multiple Sclerosis. This diagnostic tool has been fine-tuned and validated in studies here at Johns Hopkins, and is a pioneering method for assessing the progression and severity of your multiple sclerosis.

What is OCT?

OCT is poised to turn the eye into a reliable window into MS

OCT is an imaging test that uses light waves to examine tissue and nerve endings in the back of the eye (retina). This noninvasive test makes it possible for doctors to look at the optic nerve and detect abnormalities that indicate disease progression. With this information, physicians can recommend more personalized, effective treatment options. 

At the Precision Medicine Center of Excellence for Multiple Sclerosis, our basic scientists and clinicians will be investigating and developing more precision medicine tools like OCT in an effort to advance prevention strategies, diagnostic techniques and treatment approaches. Our goal is to offer patients with MS more comprehensive care and better outcomes.

Personalizing Treatment for Patients with MS: How OCT Works

Infographic: Personalizing treatment for patients with MS: How O.C.T. works. The O.C.T. machine projects light into your eye. It is painless; nothing touches your eye except beams of light. The exam will take five to 10 minutes. As the light waves bounce off the back of your eye (the retina), the O.C.T. machine captures an image of a cross-section of the retina. Your physician can then analyze the information ana gauge the thickness of the retina's different layers. Thinning layers within the retina indicate the progression of M.S.

With OCT, we are able to:

  • Accurately diagnose and monitor the rate of brain activity decline: OCT makes it possible to detect signs of brain tissue damage by examining certain tissues in the eyes, helping doctors make decisions about the right treatment for you. This level of accuracy is not possible with standard imaging tests. Annual OCT testing helps us detect even small changes in tissue damage so we can alter treatment plans when necessary.
  • Develop personalized care plans: When you come to Johns Hopkins, you have access to the latest, evidence-based treatments, including new therapies that are available only through clinical trials. We are using OCT to determine which treatments will best meet your needs and when to start them. Find out more about the multiple sclerosis treatments we offer.
  • Offer advanced care for any patient with MS: Our researchers collaborate with MS experts all over the world to share our knowledge of OCT and help patients get better care. Learn more about precision medicine research for MS.
Request an Appointment

Maryland patients: 410-614-1522.

U.S. patients outside of Maryland: 855-695-4872 or use our secure online form.

International patients:
+1-410-502-7683 or use our secure online form.

Request an Appointment

Maryland patients: 410-614-1522.

U.S. patients outside of Maryland: 855-695-4872 or use our secure online form.

International patients:
+1-410-502-7683 or use our secure online form.