In Vivo Endoscopic Optical Biopsy with Optical Coherence Tomography

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Science  27 Jun 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5321, pp. 2037-2039
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5321.2037

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Current medical imaging technologies allow visualization of tissue anatomy in the human body at resolutions ranging from 100 micrometers to 1 millimeter. These technologies are generally not sensitive enough to detect early-stage tissue abnormalities associated with diseases such as cancer and atherosclerosis, which require micrometer-scale resolution. Here, optical coherence tomography was adapted to allow high-speed visualization of tissue in a living animal with a catheter-endoscope 1 millimeter in diameter. This method, referred to as “optical biopsy,” was used to obtain cross-sectional images of the rabbit gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts at 10-micrometer resolution.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed at Building 36-357, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. E-mail: mebrezin{at}

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