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Int J Med Robot. 2012 Sep;8(3):327-36. doi: 10.1002/rcs.1425. Epub 2012 Mar 26.

Automatic scanning of large tissue areas in neurosurgery using optical coherence tomography.

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Institute for Robotics and Cognitive Systems, University of Lübeck, Germany.



With its high spatial and temporal resolution, optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an ideal modality for intra-operative imaging. One possible application is to detect tumour invaded tissue in neurosurgery, e.g. during complete resection of glioblastoma. Ideally, the whole resection cavity is scanned. However, OCT is limited to a small field of view (FOV) and scanning perpendicular to the tissue surface.


We present a new method to use OCT for scanning of the resection cavity during neurosurgical resection of brain tumours. The main challenges are creating a map of the cavity, scanning perpendicular to the surface and merging the three-dimensional (3D) data for intra-operative visualization and detection of residual tumour cells.


Our results indicate that the proposed method enables creating high-resolution maps of the resection cavity. An overlay of these maps with the microscope images provides the surgeon with important information on the location of residual tumour tissue underneath the surface.


We demonstrated that it is possible to automatically acquire an OCT image of the complete resection cavity. Overlaying microscopy images with depth information from OCT could lead to improved detection of residual tumour cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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