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Feasibility of Three-Dimensional Optical Coherence Tomography and Optical Doppler Tomography of Malignancy in Hamster Cheek Pouches



Hamster cheek pouches (HCP) with various degrees of 9,10-dimethyl-1,2-benzanthracene (DMBA)-induced dysplasia and malignancies were imaged with OCT/ODT in vivo and in vitro to assess the potential for three-dimensional high-resolution optical localization of airway malignancy.

Background data

Optical coherence tomography (OCT)/optical doppler tomography (ODT) provide potential capability for real-time in vivo high-resolution (2-20 microm) cross-sectional imaging of tissues and spatially resolved blood flow in microvasculature for pathology diagnostics.


DMBA was applied to the right side of the cheek pouch (HCP), and mineral oil (control) to the left side three times weekly for 10-18 weeks in Syrian Golden Hamsters using a standard protocol for malignancy induction. HCP were imaged in vivo with OCT/ODT as well as in vitro post-excision, using a prototype 1310-nm broadband superluminescent diode-based OCT/ODT device constructed in our laboratory. Three-dimensional images were constructed, and compared to standard and three-dimensional histology hematoxylin and eosin staining.

Results and conclusion

OCT imaging offered exceptional resolution of the HCP to depths of 1-2 mm and confirmed ability to detect dysplasia and malignancy. Three-dimensional OCT images were readily constructed, allowing visualization of extent and localization of tumor margins. ODT demonstrated increased vascularity in the area of neoplasia. OCT/ODT is a promising new technology for oral airway diagnostics.

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