Biomedical Optics Express
Optica Publishing Group
School of Medical and Health Sciences
National Health and Medical Research Council Ministry of Science and ICT, South Korea (2019H1D3A2A02101784)
Polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) derived birefringence values effectively identify skeletal muscle structural disruption due to muscular dystrophy and exercise-related muscle damage in animal models in ex vivo tissue. The purpose of this investigation was to determine if a PS-OCT needle probe inserted into the leg of a human subject could accurately identify various anatomical structures with implications for use as a diagnostic tool for the determination of skeletal muscle pathology. A healthy middle-aged subject participated in this study. A custom-built PS-OCT system was interfaced with a side-viewing fiber-optic needle probe inserted into the subject's vastus lateralis muscle via a motorized stage for 3D data acquisition via rotation and stepwise pullback. The deepest recorded PS-OCT images correspond to a depth of 6 mm beneath the dermis with structural images showing uniform, striated muscle tissue. Multiple highly birefringent band-like structures with definite orientation representing connective tissue of the superficial aponeurosis appeared as the depth of the needle decreased. Superficial to these structures the dominating appearance was that of adipose tissue and low birefringent but homogeneous scattering tissue. The data indicate that a PS-OCT needle probe can be inserted into live human skeletal muscle for the identification of relevant anatomical structures that could be utilized to diagnose significant skeletal muscle pathology.
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