Ovarian cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death among women in the United States. If diagnosed at an
early stage, the 5-year survival rate is 94%, but drops to 68% for regional disease and 29% for distant metastasis; only
19% of all cases are diagnosed at the early, localized stage. Optical coherence tomography is a recently emerging non-destructive
imaging technology, achieving high axial resolutions (10-20 microns) at imaging depths up to 2 mm.
Previously, we studied OCT imaging in normal and diseased human ovary ex vivo to determine the features OCT is
capable of resolving. Changes in collagen were suggested with several of the images that correlated with changes in
collagen seen in malignancy. Areas of necrosis and blood vessels were also visualized using OCT, indicative of an
underlying tissue abnormality. We recently developed a custom side-firing laparoscopic OCT (LOCT) probe fabricated
specifically for in vivo laparoscopic imaging. The LOCT probe consists of a 38 mm diameter handpiece terminated in an
280 mm long, 4.6 mm diameter tip for insertion into the laparoscopic trocar and is capable of obtaining up to 9.5 mm
image lengths at 10 micron axial resolution. In this study, we utilize the LOCT probe to image one or both ovaries of 20
patients undergoing laparotomy or transabdominal endoscopy and oophorectomy to determine if OCT is capable of
identifying and/or differentiating normal and neoplastic ovary. To date, we have laparoscopically imaged the ovaries of
ten patients successfully with no known complications.