A minute with...Carl Glittenberg

The Topcon senior clinical adviser will speak at November’s National OCT Conference


Can you tell me how your career path unfolded?

I studied medicine at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria where I wrote my doctoral thesis about the use of three-dimensional computer animation for teaching complex subjects in ophthalmology.

I did my internships and my residency at the Rudolf Foundation Hospital in Vienna and performed research at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Retinal Research and Biomicroscopic Laser Surgery.

At this time, I was also the assistant editor-in-chief of the Spektrum der Augenheilkunde scientific journal, and member of the board of the Austrian Ophthalmic Society.

Following my residency, I did the equivalent of a fellowship at the medical retina unit of the Department of Ophthalmology of the Rudolf Foundation Hospital in Vienna.

I then became the vice chair of the newly created Karl Landsteiner Institute for Retinal Research and Imaging. As of April 2016, I am the senior clinical adviser for Topcon Europe Medical, as well as the global senior manager for medical affairs for Topcon.

How do you use optical coherence tomography (OCT) in your research?

My main area of research was developing new algorithms to enhance the visualisation of OCT data. I design programs that improve the signal-to-noise ratio in this data as well as create new ways to show the data three dimensionally.

What are some of the most interesting developments to catch your attention?

I would say that the most interesting recent developments in OCT technology would be swept-source OCT, OCT angiography, wide-field swept-source OCT and anterior chamber swept-source OCT imaging.

Where do you see the technology going in the future?

As scan speeds and processing get faster due to novel processing algorithms, I believe we will be able to collect data that will cause a paradigm shift in how we interpret and follow the treatment of most ophthalmic diseases.

With OCT-A, we are already able to see a significant change in how we interpret choroidal neovascularisation and fibrosis. With the dawn of new therapeutic modalities for these diseases, the ability to image the course of these diseases in a new way will be pivotal for successful treatment.

What will your talk at the conference cover?

This lecture will offer a glimpse into what will be possible to do with swept-source OCT and swept-source OCT angiography in the near future. It will examine the possibilities of what can be achieved with three-dimensional reconstruction and simulation using OCT data, as well as take a look at the potential of analysing OCT data using cognitive analytics.

It will take a look at what can soon be done using quantitative analysis of OCT angiography and what this will potentially mean for our understanding and treatment of retinal pathologies.

It will show us what we will soon be able to image in the anterior chamber, the retina, and deep into the choroid. It will show how much these new developments in OCT technology could cause a shift in our understanding of ophthalmic pathophysiology and therapy.