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Optical coherence tomography for noninvasive diagnosis of epithelial cancers.

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  • 1Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, State University of New York at Stony Brook, NY 11794-8181, USA.


We summarize our recent progress in the development of the optical coherence tomography (OCT) systems suitable for clinical diagnosis and the preliminary results for in vivo diagnosis of epithelial cancers (e.g., bladder cancers). The endoscopic spectral-domain OCT system allows simultaneous, real-time, cross-sectional OCT images of tissue structure and functions (i.e., local Doppler blood flow) of biological tissue for enhanced diagnosis. A new approach to use spectral demodulation of elastic scattering is discussed for potential cancer grading. The transverse and axial resolutions of the OCT scopes are 12 microm and 10 microm, respectively. Results of the preliminary clinical studies show that unlike animal carcinogenesis models, bladder cancers in humans are more complicated in terms of epithelial backscattering changes: some lesions exhibit enhanced backscattering; some show reduced scattering owing to complex surface condition changes such as asperities or invaginations induced by tumorigenesis (e.g., papillary transitional cell cancers). Nevertheless, promising results can be provided by incorporating other diagnostic parameters such as changes in local vasculature and urothelial heterogeneity.

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