Uterine cervical collagen fiber network is vital to the normal cervical function in pregnancy. Previously, we presented an orientation estimation method to enable dispersion analysis on a single axial slice of human cervical tissue obtained from the upper half of cervix using optical coherence tomography (OCT). How the collagen fiber network structure changes from the internal os (top of the cervix which meets the uterus) to external os (bottom of cervix which extends into the vagina), remains unknown due to depth penetration limitations of OCT.
To establish a collagen fiber directionality “map” of the entire cervix, we imaged serial axial slices of human NP (n=11) and PG (n=2) cervical tissue obtained from the internal to external os using Institutional Review Board approved protocols at Columbia University Medical Center. Each slice was divided into four quadrants. In each quadrant, we stitched multiple overlapped OCT volumes and analyzed the en face images that were parallel to the surface. A pixel-wise directionality map was generated. We analyzed fiber trend by measuring the mean angles and quantified dispersion by calculating the standard deviation of the fiber direction over a region of 400 μm × 400 μm.
For the initial four samples, our analysis confirms a circumferential fiber pattern in the outer region of slices at all depths. We found that the standard deviation close to internal os showed no significance to the standard deviation close to external os (p>0.05), indicating comparable dispersion.
Yu Gan, Wang Yao, Kristin M. Myers, Joy-Sarah Y. Vink, Ronald J. Wapner, and Christine P. Hendon, "Longitudinal analysis on human cervical tissue using optical coherence tomography (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10053, Optical Coherence Tomography and Coherence Domain Optical Methods in Biomedicine XXI, 1005318 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 31, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2254156.5371723154001.
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