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Optical coherence tomography (OCT): The missing link in gastrointestinal imaging?

: Rehberger, Matthias; Wilhelm, Dirk; Janssen, Klaus-Peter; Günther, Matthias; Witte, Michael; König, Niels; Schmitt, Robert


International journal of computer assisted radiology and surgery 11 (2016), Supplement 1, pp.32-33
ISSN: 1861-6410
ISSN: 1861-6429
International Congress and Exhibition "Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery" (CARS) <30, 2016, Heidelberg>
Fraunhofer IPT ()
Fraunhofer MEVIS ()
optical coherence tomography; imaging; colon adenocarcinoma; oncology

Clinical treatment decisions in surgical oncology rely on accurate information about the histological and cellular architecture of a given tumor lesion, routinely gathered by histopathological assessment of biopsies or resected tissue. This is a relatively time-consuming and cost-intensive procedure consisting of fixation, staining and visual examination by conventional light microscopy. Vital, staining-free, high-resolution and rapid imaging modalities could offer a dramatic advantage in terms of time, cost-effectiveness and reduced hands-on time. We propose here optical coherence tomography (OCT) as a non-invasive optical imaging modality ideally suited to fit these needs. OCT imaging relies on light scattering from the sample and subsequent optical interference. It allows assessing the histological morphology with high axial resolution without requiring contrast agents. Although already implemented in other fields, its application in gastrointestinal imaging is pending and its full potential has not yet completely been explored. As a proof-of-concept study, and to investigate its possible imaging qualities, a spectral domain OCT (SD-OCT) set-up is used to evaluate its feasibility for clinical purposes.