Colorectal cancer remains the second deadliest cancer in the United States, despite the high sensitivity and specificity of colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy. While these standard imaging procedures can accurately detect medium and large polyps, some studies have shown miss rates up to 25% for polyps less than 5 mm in diameter. An imaging modality capable of detecting small lesions could potentially improve patient outcomes.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has been shown to be a powerful imaging modality for adenoma detection in a mouse model of colorectal cancer. While previous work has focused on analyzing the structural OCT images based on thickening of the mucosa and changes in light attenuation in depth, imaging the microvasculature of the colon may enable earlier detection of polyps. The structure and function of vessels grown to support tumor growth are markedly different from healthy vessels. Doppler OCT is capable of imaging microvessels in vivo.
We developed a method of processing raw fringe data from a commercial swept-source OCT system using a lab-built miniature endoscope to extract microvessels. This method can be used to measure vessel count and density and to measure flow velocities. This may improve early detection and aid in the development of new chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic drugs. We present, to the best of our knowledge, the first endoscopic Doppler OCT images of in vivo mouse colon.
Weston A. Welge and Jennifer K. Barton, "In vivo endoscopic Doppler optical coherence tomography imaging of mouse colon," Proc. SPIE 9691, Endoscopic Microscopy XI; and Optical Techniques in Pulmonary Medicine III, 96910T (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 15, 2016; Published: 8 March 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2211954.
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