Use of an oxygen-carrying blood substitute to improve intravascular optical coherence tomography imaging

Khiet C. Hoang, Ahmad Edris, Jianping Su, David S. Mukai, Sari Mahon, Artiom D. Petrov, Morton Kern, Chowdhury Ashan, Zhongping Chen, Bruce J. Tromberg, Jagat Narula, Matthew Brenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a catheter-based imaging technology with powerful resolution capable of identifying vulnerable plaques and guiding coronary intervention. However, a significant limitation of intravascular OCT imaging is its attenuation by blood. We propose that the use of an oxygen-carrying blood substitute could potentially optimize OCT image quality. Surgical isolation of the descending thoracic aorta of six rabbits is performed, followed by intravascular OCT imaging of the abdominal aorta. Perfluorodecalin (PFD) is oxygenated using a bubble-through technique with 100% oxygen. OCT imaging is performed and compared using three different flushing modalities: PFD; saline; and blood. OCT imaging of the rabbit abdominal aorta is successful in all of the subjects. In each of the six studied subjects, flushing with PFD consistently provides dramatically better imaging of the vessel wall tissue structures. OCT image quality is highly dependent on the ability of the flushing modality to remove blood from the imaging field. From this proof-of-concept study, we demonstrate that endovascular flushing with an oxygen-carrying blood substitute (PFD) is optically superior to saline flushing for intravascular imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Article number034028
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • intravascular imaging
  • optical coherence tomography
  • oxygen-carrying blood substitute
  • perfluorocarbon


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