Endoscopic optical coherence tomography imaging for surgical diagnostics and guidance in the gastrointestinal tract

Stephen Allen Boppart, Xingde Li, Costas Pitris, Debra L. Stamper, Mark E. Brezinski, James G. Fujimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Technologies capable of imaging subsurface tissue structures offer improved visualization for surgical diagnostics and guidance. Endoscopic ultrasound catheters have been used for imaging the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract with 50-100 μm resolution. However, these resolutions are insufficient to resolve epithelial layers or early epithelial changes which occur in neoplasias and Barrett's esophagus. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a fiber-optic based imaging technology capable of acquiring in vivo image data of biological tissue at real-time rates and at resolutions 10 times higher than clinical endoscopic ultrasound. Using a compact amplified super-luminescent diode light source, a portable OCT system has been constructed for use with minimally invasive endoscopic and surgical instruments including catheters, laparoscopes, microscopes, and hand-held surgical probes. The in vivo rabbit gastrointestinal tract is used as a model system. Beam delivery is accomplished with a radial-imaging OCT catheter that can be inserted into the working channel of an endoscope. This in vivo demonstration suggests that resolutions and acquisition rates are sufficient for imaging the human gastrointestinal tract. OCT shows promise for high-resolution image-guidance during diagnostic and surgical procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-164
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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