It is shown that the spatial frequencies recorded in interferometric synthetic aperture microscopy do not correspond to exact backscattering [as they do in unistatic synthetic aperture radar (SAR)] and that the reconstruction process based on SAR is therefore based on an approximation. The spatial frequency response is developed based on the three-dimensional coherent transfer function approach and compared with that in optical coherence tomography and digital holographic microscopy. (C) 2012 Optical Society of America