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Optical coherence tomography platform for microvascular imaging and quantification: initial experience in late oral radiation toxicity patients.


An optical coherence tomography (OCT) microvascular imaging platform, consisting of Doppler (DOCT) and speckle variance (svOCT) modalities, and microvascular image quantification tools are developed. The quantification methods extract blood flow-related parameters from DOCT images and vessel morphological parameters from svOCT images. This platform is used to assess the microvascular (DOCT and svOCT) images obtained during a clinical study on late oral radiation toxicity. This specific pathology was considered a suitable scenario for verifying the performance of the developed quantification platform because late oral radiation toxicity is known to involve microvascular damage. The derived parameters are compared between several DOCT and svOCT images from one patient and one healthy volunteer as proof-of-principle, and the significance of the observed differences is discussed. Given the low number of OCT clinical studies that measure and quantify microvascular images and considering the importance of such quantification in a number of pathologies, this newly developed platform can serve as a useful tool in studying diseases and treatments with microvascular involvement.