Near-infrared fluorescence catheter system for two-dimensional intravascular imaging in vivo

source:©2010 Optical Society of America

Detection of high-risk coronary arterial plaques prior to rupture remains an unmet clinical challenge, in part due to the stringent resolution and sensitivity requirements for in vivo human coronary arterial imaging. To address this need, we have developed a near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence imaging catheter system for intra-vascular molecular imaging of atherosclerosis in coronary artery-sized vessels, capable of resolving two-dimensional fluorescence activity in hollow organs, such as blood vessels. Based on a rotational fiber design, the catheter system illuminates and detects perpendicular to the rotational axis, while an automated pullback mechanism enables visualization along blood vessels with a scan speed of up to 1.5 mm/sec. We demonstrate the previously undocumented capacity to produce intravascular NIR fluorescence images of hollow organs in vivo and showcase the performance metrics of the system developed using blood vessel mimicking phantoms. This imaging approach is geared toward in vivo molecular imaging of atherosclerotic biomarkers and is engineered to allow seamless integration into the cardiac catheterization laboratory.
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Fig. 1 NIR fluorescence imaging system catheter. Schematics of the experimental setup: laser light propagated through the optical cube into multimodal (MM) fiber, travels through rotational coupler and, finally, propagate into MM fiber that has angle-polished, mirror-coated front end. The delivered light excites fluorochromes in the ROI and collects corresponding emission signal, which propagates through the same MM fiber to the detection cube and measured by two PMTs. Signal is then digitized, stored and analyzed.

R. N. Razansky, A. Rosenthal, G. Mallas, D. Razansky, F. A. Jaffer, and V. Ntziachristos, “Near-infrared fluorescence catheter system for two-dimensional intravascular imaging in vivo,” Opt. Express, Vol. 18, pp. 11372-11381 (2010).