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In vivo optical coherence tomography detection of differences in regional large airway smoke inhalation induced injury in a rabbit model

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Smoke inhalation injury causes acute airway injury that may result in airway compromise with significant morbidity and mortality. We investigate the ability of high resolution endobronchial optical coherence tomography (OCT) to obtain real-time images for quantitatively assessing regional differences between upper tracheal versus lower tracheal and bronchial airway injury responses to smoke inhalation in vivo using a prototype spectral domain (SLD)-OCT system we constructed, and flexible fiber optic probes. 33 New Zealand White rabbits are intubated and mechanically ventilated. The treatment groups are exposed to inhaled smoke. The OCT probe is introduced through the endotracheal tube and maintained in place for 5 to 6 h. Images of airway mucosa and submucosa are obtained at baseline and at specified intervals postexposure. Starting within less than 15 min after smoke inhalation, there is significant airway thickening in the smoke-exposed animals. This is maintained over 5 h of imaging studies. The lower tracheal airway changes, correlating closely with carboxyhemoglobin levels, are much greater than upper tracheal changes. Significant differences are seen in lower trachea and bronchi after acute smoke inhalation compared to upper trachea as measured in vivo by minimally invasive OCT. OCT is capable of quantitatively detecting regional changes in airway swelling following inhalation injury.

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