PURPOSE: : Optical Coherence Tomography is a novel, non-invasive, high resolution imaging technology that is capable of delivering real-time, near histologic level images of tissues. Its advantages include real time imaging, capabilities of Doppler flow imaging, small fiber-based design which can allow integration with endoscopes, and tissue characterization of near-histologic level. The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of using flexible fiberoptic OCT to detect and monitor smoke inhalation induced tracheal changes.
METHODS: New Zealand White rabbits were used in this experiment. Fifty grams of unbleached cotton were burned in a reservoir and delivered to ventilated rabbits to induce smoke inhalation injury. A 1mm diameter, flexible, fiberoptic OCT probe was introduced into the trachea just below the end of the ET tube. The progression of airway edema was monitored over 6 hours.
RESULTS: Evidence of mucosal thickening was evident by 5 minutes post smoke exposure when compared to the control group and progressed over the ensuing hours.
CONCLUSION: OCT allows for non-invasive detection of edema caused by smoke inhalation injury.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Early diagnosis and treatment of inhalation injury are important and the development of a treatment plan is essential. Determining the degree of tracheobronchial involvement is essential because complete airway obstruction may develop rapidly, and early intubation prior to development of obstruction is essential for patient survival. Additionally OCT can be used to diagnose airway malignancy and is currently used in opthamology.
DISCLOSURE: Kelly Kreuter, None.