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J Biomed Opt. 2005 May-Jun;10(3):034013.

Bronchoscopic imaging of pulmonary mucosal vasculature responses to inflammatory mediators.

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  • 1University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Department of Internal Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA.


In current clinical practice, the initial stage in the detection of pulmonary airway disease is the clinician's interpretation of a bronchoscopy procedure. Due to the nature of this form of detection, diseases are often well advanced upon discovery. This paper proposes a new method for examining the pulmonary airway microcirculatory system via fluorescein imaging techniques similar to those used extensively in ophthalmology. Through the use of a specialized bronchoscopy imaging system we are able to successfully show that fluorescein emission detected in the rabbit trachea exhibits a clear response to inflammatory mediators and thus to changing local vascularity. The clinical implications of this technique are extensive including most importantly the potential use as an evaluation tool for pulmonary disease evaluation and likely other endoscopically accessible organs.

2005 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.

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