Abstract: The use and advantages of applying balanced-detection (BD) operation method to high speed spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SDOCT) are presented in this study, which we believe is the first such demonstration. Compared to conventional SDOCT, BD-SDOCT provides two unique advantages. First, the method can suppress background noise and autocorrelation artifacts in biological tissues. Second, it is a power-efficient method which is particularly helpful for high speed SDOCT to eliminate random intensity noise and to achieve shot noise limited detection. This performance allows in vivo three-dimensional tissue visualization with high imaging quality and high speed.