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Open Access Publications from the University of California

High-speed upper-airway imaging using full-range optical coherence tomography



Obstruction in the upper airway can often cause reductions in breathing or gas exchange efficiency and lead to rest disorders such as sleep apnea. Imaging diagnosis of the obstruction region has been accomplished using computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However CT requires the use of ionizing radiation, and MRI typically requires sedation of the patient to prevent motion artifacts. Long-range optical coherence tomography (OCT) has the potential to provide high-speed three-dimensional tomographic images with high resolution and without the use of ionizing radiation. In this paper, we present work on the development of a long-range OCT endoscopic probe with 1.2 mm OD and 20 mm working distance used in conjunction with a modified Fourier domain swept source OCT system to acquire structural and anatomical datasets of the human airway. Imaging from the bottom of the larynx to the end of the nasal cavity is completed within 40 s.

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