Optical coherence tomography: An emerging technology for biomedical imaging and optical biopsy

James G. Fujimoto, Costas Pitris, Stephen A. Boppart, Mark E. Brezinski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an emerging technology for performing high-resolution cross-sectional imaging. OCT is analogous to ultrasound imaging, except that it uses light instead of sound. OCT can provide cross-sectional images of tissue structure on the micron scale in situ and in real time. Using OCT in combination with catheters and endoscopes enables high-resolution intraluminal imaging of organ systems. OCT can function as a type of optical biopsy and is a powerful imaging technology for medical diagnostics because unlike conventional histopathology which requires removal of a tissue specimen and processing for microscopic examination, OCT can provide images of tissue in situ and in real time. OCT can be used where standard excisional biopsy is hazardous or impossible, to reduce sampling errors associated with excisional biopsy, and to guide interventional procedures. In this paper, we review OCT technology and describe its potential biomedical and clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-25
Number of pages17
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Biopsy
  • Imaging
  • OCT
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Optical imaging
  • Tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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