Anatomically correct visualization of the human upper airway using a high-speed long range optical coherence tomography system with an integrated positioning sensor.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Scientific reports, Volume 6, p.39443 (2016)


The upper airway is a complex tissue structure that is prone to collapse. Current methods for studying airway obstruction are inadequate in safety, cost, or availability, such as CT or MRI, or only provide localized qualitative information such as flexible endoscopy. Long range optical coherence tomography (OCT) has been used to visualize the human airway in vivo, however the limited imaging range has prevented full delineation of the various shapes and sizes of the lumen. We present a new long range OCT system that integrates high speed imaging with a real-time position tracker to allow for the acquisition of an accurate 3D anatomical structure in vivo. The new system can achieve an imaging range of 30 mm at a frame rate of 200 Hz. The system is capable of generating a rapid and complete visualization and quantification of the airway, which can then be used in computational simulations to determine obstruction sites.

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