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Original Research: DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING |

Evaluation of Rabbit Tracheal Inflammation Using Optical Coherence Tomography*

Usama Mahmood, BS; Nevine Mikhail Hanna, BS, MPH; Sugku Han, BS; Woong-Gyu Jung, MS; Zhonping Chen, PhD; Bryan Jordan, RN; Andrey Yershov, PhD; Ronald Walton, DVM; Matthew Brenner, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

*From the Beckman Laser Institute (Mr. Mahmood, Ms. Hanna, Mr. Han, Mr. Jung, and Dr. Chen) and the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division (Dr. Brenner), University of California Irvine Medical Center, Orange, CA; and the US Army Institute of Surgical Research (Mr. Jordan and Drs. Yershov and Walton), Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, TX.

Correspondence to: Zhonping Chen, MD, Beckman Laser Institute, UC Irvine Medical Center, Building 53, Room 119, 101 City Dr South, Orange, CA 92868; e-mail: zchen@laser.bli.uci.edu



Chest. 2006;130(3):863-868. doi:10.1378/chest.130.3.863
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Background: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an evolving technology that is capable of delivering real-time, high-resolution images of tissues. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using OCT for detecting airway pathology in a septic animal model.

Methods: The tracheas of New Zealand white rabbits were inoculated endobronchially with various concentrations of live Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria. After the development of pneumonia/sepsis, the animals were killed. OCT tracheal images and corresponding histologic specimens from these experimental animals were compared to control rabbit tracheas for morphologic features and quantitative tracheal mucosal thickness measurements.

Results: The results revealed significant airway mucosal thickening in the experimental group that was consistent with tracheal edema. Morphologic changes, including epithelial denuding and mucosal sloughing, were evident in regions of the experimental tracheas.

Conclusion: This study suggests that OCT is a potentially valuable imaging modality that is capable of evaluating superficial airway pathology with high-resolution in vivo images. Numerous applications of OCT can be envisioned in the realm of pulmonary medicine and thoracic surgery that may substantially increase the precision and accuracy of current bronchoscopic diagnostic and surgical techniques.

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