Present understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms of asthma has been severely limited by the lack of an imaging modality capable of assessing airway conditions of asthma patients in vivo. Of particular interest is the role that airway smooth muscle (ASM) plays in the development of asthma and asthma related symptoms. With standard Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), imaging ASM is often not possible due to poor structural contrast between the muscle and surrounding tissues. A potential solution to this problem is to utilize additional optical contrast factors intrinsic to the tissue, such as birefringence. Due to its highly ordered structure, ASM is strongly birefringent. Previously, we demonstrated that Polarization Sensitive OCT(PS-OCT) has the potential to be used to visualize ASM as well as easily segment it from the surrounding (weakly) birefringent tissue by exploiting a property which allows it to discriminate the orientation of birefringent fibers. We have already validated our technology with a substantial set of histological comparisons made against data obtained ex vivo. In this work we present a comprehensive comparison of ASM distributions in asthmatic and non-asthmatic human volunteers. By isolating the ASM we parameterize its distribution in terms of both thickness and band width, calculated volumetrically over centimeters of airway. Using this data we perform analyses of the asthmatic and non-asthmatic airways using a broad number and variety and subjects.
David C. Adams, Jasmin A. Holz, Margit V. Szabari, Lida P. Hariri, R. Scott Harris, Jocelyn L. Cho, Daniel L. Hamilos, Andrew D. Luster, Benjamin D. Medoff, and Melissa J. Suter, "A study of airway smooth muscle in asthmatic and non-asthmatic airways using PS-OCT (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9691, Endoscopic Microscopy XI; and Optical Techniques in Pulmonary Medicine III, 969111 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 13, 2016; Published: 27 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2214735.4828146964001.
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