Changes in tissue optical properties due to radio-frequency ablation of myocardium

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The optical properties of pig heart tissue were measured after in vivo ablation therapy had been performed during open-heart surgery. In vitro samples of normal and ablated tissue were subjected to measurements with an optically integrating sphere set-up in the region 470–900 nm. Three independent measurements were made: total transmittance, total reflectance and collimated transmittance, which made it possible to extract the absorption and scattering coefficients and the scattering anisotropy factor g, using an inverse Monte Carlo model. Between 470 and 700 nm, only the reduced scattering coefficient and absorption could be evaluated. The absorption spectra were fitted to known tissue chromophore spectra, so that the concentrations of haemoglobin and myoglobin could be estimated. The reduced scattering coefficient was compared with Mie computations to provide Mie equivalent average radii. Most of the absorption was from myoglobin, whereas haemoglobin absorption was negligible. Metmyoglobin was formed in the ablated tissue, which could yield a spectral signature to distinguish the ablated tissue with a simple optical probe to monitor the ablation therapy. The reduced scattering coefficient increased by, on average, 50% in the ablated tissue, which corresponded to a slight decrease in the Mie equivalent radius.