Besides structural imaging, OCT can be used to estimate axial velocities of the sample resolved in depth by Doppler-processing. In Fourier domain OCT (FD-OCT), this is accomplished by measuring the phase difference (i.e. phase shift) between timely separated A-scans at the same depth. In most cases, these data are disturbed by noise caused by intrinsic noise of the OCT system, specified by the SNR, and decorrelation noise caused by the transversal movement of the optical beam relative to the sample. Since the first use of Doppler methods in OCT, many methods to reduce the phase shift noise by averaging have been presented. While all these methods use a fixed set of consecutive A-scans, the best method, exhibiting no bias and having the smallest standard deviation, was questionable. Recently, Doppler processing methods depending on the mentioned noise sources and delivering the most likely phase shift and thereby axial velocity became available. The relation of these methods to previously known methods like the Kasai estimator, maximum likelihood estimator (MLE) and joint spectral and time domain OCT (jSTdOCT) will be discussed.
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