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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2001 Jul;91(1):74-8.

Comparison of OPS imaging and conventional capillary microscopy to study the human microcirculation.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Orthogonal polarization spectral (OPS) imaging is a new clinical technique for observation of the microcirculation of organ surfaces. For validation purposes, we compared OPS images of the nailfold skin with those obtained from conventional capillary microscopy at rest and during venous occlusion in 10 male volunteers. These images were computer analyzed to provide red blood cell velocity and capillary diameters of the same nailfold capillaries at rest and during venous occlusion. Results showed that OPS images provided similar values for red blood cell velocity and capillary diameter as those obtained from capillary microscopy images. OPS imaging, however, provided significantly better image quality, as shown by comparison of image contrast between OPS imaging and capillary microscopy. This made image analysis better and easier to perform. It is anticipated, therefore, that OPS imaging will become a new and powerful technique in the study of the human microcirculation in vivo because it can be used on human internal organs.

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