The Heidelberg Retina Tomograph (HRT) is a non-invasive confocal scanning laser microscope that is used to obtain a three-dimensional, computerized scan (like a CAT scan) of your optic nerve head and retina in the posterior segment. Due to its ability to produce highly accurate and reproducible topographic images, this sophisticated technology is applied effectively to diagnosing early glaucoma and monitoring the progression of glaucoma, as well as, evaluating macular holes or edema. Today, HRT is the gold standard for imaging the optic nerve.
HRT does not replace a visual field test. A visual field evaluates your level of visual function. However, the structural damage from glaucoma occurs up to five years prior to the patient experiencing vision loss. With HRT a personalized visual map of your retina and optic nerve is compared (by computer technology) to the new scan, and any changes are highlighted. Your doctor can immediately see if your glaucoma is progressing and then prescribe needed therapies before vision loss is experienced.