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Opt Express. 2009 Jun 22;17(13):10786-99.

High temporal resolution OCT using image-based retrospective gating.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA.


High temporal resolution OCT imaging is very advantageous for analyzing cardiac mechanics in the developing embryonic heart of small animals. An image-based retrospective gating technique is presented to increase the effective temporal resolution of an OCT system and to allow visualization of systolic dynamics in 3D. The gating technique employs image similarity measures for rearranging asynchronously acquired input data consisting of a time series of 2D images at each z position along the heart volume, to produce a time sequence of 3D volumes of the beating heart. The study includes a novel robust validation technique, which quantitatively evaluates the accuracy of the gating technique, in addition to visual evaluations by 2D multiplanar reformatting (MPR) and 3D volume rendering. The retrospective gating and validation is demonstrated on a stage 14 embryonic quail heart data set. Using the validation scheme, it is shown that the gating is accurate within a standard deviation of 4.7 ms, which is an order of magnitude shorter than the time interval during which systolic contraction (approximately 50 ms) occurs in the developing embryo. This gating method has allowed, for the first time, clear visualization of systolic dynamics of the looping embryonic heart in 3D.

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