Monitoring cerebral blood flow (CBF) is crucial, as inadequate perfusion, even for relatively short periods of time, may lead to brain damage or even death. Thus, significant research efforts are directed at developing reliable monitoring tools that will enable continuous, bed side, simple and cost-effective monitoring of CBF. All existing non invasive bed side monitoring methods, which are mostly NIRS based, such as Laser Doppler or DCS, tend to underestimate CBF in adults, due to the indefinite effect of extra-cerebral tissues on the obtained signal. If those are to find place in day to day clinical practice, the contribution of extra-cerebral tissues must be eliminated and data from the depth (brain) should be extracted and discriminated. Recently, a novel technique, based on ultrasound modulation of light was developed for non-invasive, continuous CBF monitoring (termed ultrasound-tagged light (UTL or UT-NIRS)), and shown to correlate with readings of 133Xe SPECT and laser Doppler. We have assembled a comprehensive computerized simulation, modeling this acousto-optic technique in a highly scattering media. Using the combination of light and ultrasound, we show how depth information may be extracted, thus distinguishing between flow patterns taking place at different depths. Our algorithm, based on the analysis of light modulated by ultrasound, is presented and examined in a computerized simulation. Distinct depth discrimination ability is presented, suggesting that using such method one can effectively nullify the extra-cerebral tissues influence on the obtained signals, and specifically extract cerebral flow data.
Development of techniques for continuous measurement of regional blood flow, and in particular cerebral blood flow (CBF), is essential for monitoring critical care patients. Recently, a novel technique, based on ultrasound modulation of light was developed for non-invasive, continuous CBF monitoring (termed ultrasound-tagged light (UTL or UT-NIRS)), and shown to correlate with readings of 133 Xe SPECT1 and laser Doppler2. Coherent light is introduced into the tissue concurrently with an Ultrasound (US) field. Displacement of scattering centers within the sampled volume induced by Brownian motion, blood flow and the US field affects the photons’ temporal correlation. Hence, the temporal fluctuations of the obtained speckle pattern provide dynamic information about the blood flow. We developed a comprehensive simulation, combining the effects of Brownian motion, US and flow on the obtained speckle pattern. Photons trajectories within the tissue are generated using a Monte-Carlo based model. Then, the temporal changes in the optical path due to displacement of scattering centers are determined, and the corresponding interference pattern over time is derived. Finally, the light intensity autocorrelation function of a single speckle is calculated, from which the tissue decorrelation time is determined. The simulation's results are compared with in-vitro experiments, using a digital correlator, demonstrating decorrelation time prediction within the 95% confidence interval. This model may assist in the development of optical based methods for blood flow measurements and particularly, in methods using the acousto-optic effect.