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Biomed Opt Express. 2011 Aug 1;2(8):2175-88. doi: 10.1364/BOE.2.002175. Epub 2011 Jul 6.

Doppler velocity detection limitations in spectrometer-based versus swept-source optical coherence tomography.


Recent advances in Doppler techniques have enabled high sensitivity imaging of biological flow to measure blood velocities and vascular perfusion. Here we compare spectrometer-based and wavelength-swept Doppler OCT implementations theoretically and experimentally, characterizing the lower and upper observable velocity limits in each configuration. We specifically characterize the washout limit for Doppler OCT, the velocity at which signal degradation results in loss of flow information, which is valid for both quantitative and qualitative flow imaging techniques. We also clearly differentiate the washout effect from the separate phenomenon of phase wrapping. We demonstrate that the maximum detectable Doppler velocity is determined by the fringe washout limit and not phase wrapping. Both theory and experimental results from phantom flow data and retinal blood flow data demonstrate the superiority of the swept-source technique for imaging vessels with high flow rates.


(170.2655) Functional monitoring and imaging; (170.3340) Laser Doppler velocimetry; (170.4500) Optical coherence tomography

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