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Recent advances in optical coherence tomography for the diagnoses of lung disorders.

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

There have been many advances in the field of diagnostic and therapeutic pulmonary medicine in the past several years, with major progress in the field of imaging. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a high-resolution (micron level) imaging modality currently being advanced with the potential to image airway wall structures in real time and at higher resolution than previously possible. OCT has the potential to increase the sensitivity and specificity of biopsies, create 3D images of the airway to guide diagnostics, and may have a future role in diverse areas such as the evaluation and treatment of patients with obstructive sleep apnea, tracheal stenosis, airway remodeling and inhalation injury. OCT has recently been investigated to monitor airway compliance in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma patients as well as differentiate causes of pulmonary hypertension. In future clinical and research applications, OCT will likely be combined with other endoscopic based modalities such as ultrasound, spectroscopy, confocal, and/or photoacoustic tomography to determine functional and biomolecular properties. This article discusses the current uses of OCT, its potential applications, as it relates to specific pulmonary diseases, and the future directions for OCT.

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