Optical Coherence Tomography in Pulmonary Medicine

  • M. Brenner
  • H. Colt
  • Z. Chen
  • S. B. Mahon
Part of the Biological and Medical Physics, Biomedical Engineering book series (BIOMEDICAL)

Pulmonary medicine is a field in which there is a major potential for OCT imaging applications both in clinical and research settings. Until recently, some of the complexities of pulmonary structure and function have restricted widespread OCT investigations [1]. The primary limitations that have slowed adaptation of OCT into the pulmonary setting in the past have been the shallow depth of penetration, resolution limitations, relatively slow access times, the need to examine large surface areas with numerous branching airways, as well as a need for development of practical imaging probes to reach the relevant locations. However, considerable recent engineering and analytical advances in OCT technology [2–8] have overcome several of these obstacles, and will now enable much more extensive investigations into the role for structural and functional pulmonary OCT imaging.

There are a wide range of significant clinical pulmonary needs that may be fulfilled by the real time high resolution imaging capabilities of OCT. In a number of these potential pulmonary clinical application areas, the shallow depth of penetration of OCT is adequate enough for the required purposes. As with any diagnostic or therapeutic clinical tool, the evolution of OCT in pulmonary medicine will be based on knowledge of potential uses, understanding of where the capabilities and limitations meet the clinical needs, and cognizance of areas where OCT is unlikely to be helpful. Many of the initially reported pulmonary OCT studies have focused on areas of highest likelihood for demonstration of success [1, 9–15]. This approach very reasonably demonstrates feasibility and proof of concept, but it must be emphasized that the areas of initial focus and current investigations may not ultimately be the areas of highest beneficial yield in the long-term application of OCT in pulmonary medicine.


Optical Coherence Tomography Optical Coherence Tomography Image Rigid Bronchoscopy Optical Coherence Tomography System Pulmonary Medicine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Brenner
  • H. Colt
  • Z. Chen
  • S. B. Mahon

There are no affiliations available

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