Important information about Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19): Learn More

NCQA Bridges to Excellence ICAEL

Heidelberg Retinal Tomograph (HRT) 

Heidelberg Retinal Tomograph (HRT) is a state-of-the-art imaging method used to evaluate the optic nerve for subtle changes related to glaucoma.  The optic nerve carries nerve signals about what you see to your brain for processing.  Glaucoma is an eye disorder that results from damage to the optic nerve and is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide.  Although there is no cure for glaucoma, early detection and treatment can help manage the condition and prevent vision loss.  HRT is the most advanced tool for monitoring the progression of glaucoma.
HRT uses sophisticated technology to create a 3D image of the optic nerve and retina.  The results are plotted statistically.  Overtime, the images and statistics can be compared.  This is crucial for detecting even the slightest change in the disease process.  The results from HRT are used to formulate the most effective individual treatment plan possible.

Back to Top

HRT is a simple fast painless test that is performed in your doctor’s office.  Your doctor may dilate your eyes before the procedure.  You will be seated for the test, and your head will rest in a positioning frame.  You will see a series of flashing lights while the images are taken.

Back to Top

An even newer form of glaucoma observation is called Ocular Coherent Tomography (OCT).  This allows the painting of a three dimensional picture of the optic nerve using scanning laser technology.  It will eventually replace HRT as the units become more available.  This too is a painless, noninvasive test.

Back to Top


Copyright ©  - iHealthSpot, Inc. -

This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.

The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit