The limited dynamic range of optical coherence tomography (OCT) Doppler velocity measurements makes it difficult to conduct experiments on samples requiring a large dynamic range without phase wrapping at high velocities or loss of sensitivity at slow velocities. Hemodynamics and wall motion undergo significant increases in velocity as the embryonic heart develops. Experimental studies indicate that altered hemodynamics in early-stage embryonic hearts can lead to congenital heart diseases (CHDs), motivating close monitoring of blood flow over several stages of development. We have built a high-speed OCT system using an FDML laser (Optores GmbH, Germany) at a sweep rate of 1.68 MHz (axial resolution - 12 μm, sensitivity - 105 dB, phase stability - 17 mrad). The speed of this OCT system allows us to acquire high-density B-scans to obtain an extended velocity dynamic range without sacrificing the frame rate (100 Hz). The extended dynamic range within a frame is achieved by varying the A-scan interval at which the phase difference is found, enabling detection of velocities ranging from tens of microns per second to hundreds of millimeters per second. The extra lines in a frame can also be utilized to improve the structural and Doppler images via complex averaging. In structural images where the presence of blood causes additional scattering, complex averaging helps retrieve features located deeper in the tissue. Moreover, high-density frames can be registered to 4D volumes to determine the orthogonal direction of flow for calculating shear stress as well as estimating the cardiac output. In conclusion, high density B-scans acquired by our high-speed OCT system enable image enhancement and direct measurement of biological parameters in cohort studies.
Sahar Elahi, Lars Thrane, Andrew M. Rollins, and Michael W. Jenkins, "Extended dynamic range of Doppler OCT by application of a new method to high density B-scans using a MHz FDML swept laser source (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10053, Optical Coherence Tomography and Coherence Domain Optical Methods in Biomedicine XXI, 100531U (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 01, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2254851.5371723169001.
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