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J Biomed Opt. 2009 Sep-Oct;14(5):054002. doi: 10.1117/1.3213604.

Virtual histology of the human heart using optical coherence tomography.

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  • 1Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Biomedical Engineering, 1 Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1097, St. Louis, Missouri 63130, USA.

Abstract

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) allows for the visualization of micron-scale structures within nontransparent biological tissues. For the first time, we demonstrate the use of OCT in identifying components of the cardiac conduction system and other structures in the explanted human heart. Reconstructions of cardiac structures up to 2 mm below the tissue surface were achieved and validated with Masson Trichrome histology in atrial, ventricular, sinoatrial nodal, and atrioventricular nodal preparations. The high spatial resolution of OCT provides visualization of cardiac fibers within the myocardium, as well as elements of the cardiac conduction system; however, a limiting factor remains its depth penetration, demonstrated to be approximately 2 mm in cardiac tissues. Despite its currently limited imaging depth, the use of OCT to identify the structural determinants of both normal and abnormal function in the intact human heart is critical in its development as a potential aid to intracardiac arrhythmia diagnosis and therapy.

PMID:
19895104
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2774972
Free PMC Article
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