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Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006 Oct;132(10):1074-81.

In vivo optical coherence tomography of the human oral cavity and oropharynx.

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of California Irvine, Orange, USA.


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an evolving imaging modality that combines interferometry with low-coherence light to produce high-resolution tissue imaging. Cross-sectional in vivo images were obtained using an OCT device consisting of a Michelson interferometer, 1.3-microm broadband light source, and a handheld fiberoptic imaging probe. Image pixel resolution approached 10 microm. The mucosa of the oral cavity and oropharynx were examined in 41 patients during operative endoscopy. Optical coherence tomographic imaging was combined with endoscopic photography for gross and histologic image correlation. Optical coherence tomographic images of the oral cavity and oropharynx provided microanatomical information on the epithelium, basement membrane (BM), and supporting lamina propria (LP) of the mucosa. Normal microstructures identified in these tissues included an overlying keratin layer, papillae, ducts, glands, and blood vessels. Regions of pathologic features studied included mature scar, granulation tissue, mucous cysts, leukoplakia, and invasive cancer. Optical coherence tomographic imaging showed distinct zones of normal, altered, and ablated tissue microstructures for each pathologic process studied. Abnormal findings were directly compared with regions of normal tissue or conventional histopathologic features when tissue for analysis was available. This study provides a composite series of in vivo OCT images of the oral cavity and oropharynx in a variety of normal regions and pathologic states as well as outline future applications of OCT technology.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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