Excessive and repetitive force applied on vocal fold tissue can induce benign vocal fold lesions. Children affected suffer from chronic hoarseness. In this instance, the vibratory ability of the folds, a complex layered microanatomy, becomes impaired. Histological findings have shown that lesions produce a remodeling of sup-epithelial vocal fold layers. However, our understanding of lesion features and development is still limited. Indeed, conventional imaging techniques do not allow a non-invasive assessment of sub-epithelial integrity of the vocal fold. Furthermore, it remains challenging to differentiate these sub-epithelial lesions (such as bilateral nodules, polyps and cysts) from a clinical perspective, as their outer surfaces are relatively similar. As treatment strategy differs for each lesion type, it is critical to efficiently differentiate sub-epithelial alterations involved in benign lesions.
In this study, we developed an optical coherence tomography (OCT) based handheld probe suitable for pediatric laryngological imaging. The probe allows for rapid three-dimensional imaging of vocal fold lesions. The system is adapted to allow for high-resolution intra-operative imaging. We imaged 20 patients undergoing direct laryngoscopy during which we looked at different benign pediatric pathologies such as bilateral nodules, cysts and laryngeal papillomatosis and compared them to healthy tissue. We qualitatively and quantitatively characterized laryngeal pathologies and demonstrated the added advantage of using 3D OCT imaging for lesion discrimination and margin assessment. OCT evaluation of the integrity of the vocal cord could yield to a better pediatric management of laryngeal diseases.
Fouzi Benboujja, Jordan Garcia, Kathy Beaudette, Mathias Strupler, Christopher J. Hartnick, and Caroline Boudoux, "Intraoperative handheld probe for 3D imaging of pediatric benign vocal fold lesions using optical coherence tomography (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9689, Photonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics XII, 968924 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 13, 2016; Published: 27 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2213045.4828028256001.
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