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Neuro-endovascular optical coherence tomography imaging: Clinical feasibility and applications

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The authors report on the feasibility of clinical neuroendovascular optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging as well as its efficacy and safety by comparing findings with histology in animal, cadaveric and clinical studies. Catheter-based in vivo endovascular OCT imaging was carried out intracranially in four patients, three in the anterior circulation and one in the posterior circulation (vertebral artery). The neuroendovascular OCT device was delivered to the desired location using groin access and standard endovascular procedures. In vivo findings were reproduced using ex vivo OCT imaging in corresponding animal and human (cadaveric) harvested tissue segments with findings matched by histology. OCT images correlated well with the images obtained after histologic sectioning, and visualized in vivo the laminar vascular structure. Satisfactory imaging findings were obtained with no complications. Neuroendovascular OCT imaging is thus feasible for clinical use and can detect with high resolution the structure of arterial segments. Understanding OCT imaging in non-diseased arteries is important in establishing baseline findings necessary for interpreting pathologic processes. This allows neuroendovascular optical biopsies of vascular tissue to be obtained without the need for excision and processing, and potentially allows prophylactic interventions against stroke and other cerebrovascular disease before they become symptomatic. © 2011 Copyright SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering.

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