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Transplantation. 2001 May 15;71(9):1249-56.

Orthogonal polarization spectral imaging as a tool for the assessment of hepatic microcirculation: a validation study.

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Institute for Surgical Research, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, University Hospital Grosshadern, Germany.



Quantitative analysis of liver microcirculation using intravital fluorescence microscopy in animals has increased our knowledge about ischemia-reperfusion injury. However, because of the size of the instrumentation and the necessity of fluochromes for contrast enhancement, human liver microcirculation cannot be observed. Orthogonal Polarization Spectral (OPS) imaging is a recently introduced technique that can be used to visualize the microcirculation without the need for fluorescent dyes. It is a small, hand-held device and could potentially be used to study the microcirculation of the human liver in a clinical setting. However, before implementation into clinical use its ability to quantitatively measure microcirculatory parameters must be validated.


The livers of Spraque-Dawley rats (n=9) were exteriorized, and images were obtained using OPS imaging and intravital fluorescence microscopy of the identical microvascular regions before and after the induction of a 20-min warm lobar ischemia. Images were videotaped for later computer-assisted off-line analysis.


OPS imaging can be used to accurately quantify the sinusoidal perfusion rate, vessel diameter, and venular red blood cell velocity. Correlation parameters were significant and Bland-Altman analyses showed good agreement for data obtained from the two methods at baseline as well as during reperfusion.


OPS imaging can be used to quantitatively measure microcirculatory parameters in the rat liver under both physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Thus, OPS imaging has the potential to be used to make quantitative measurements of the microcirculation in the human liver.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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