Feasibility of using optical coherence tomography to detect acute radiation-induced esophageal damage in small animal models

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Pouya Jelvehgaran
  • Daniel Martijn de Bruin
  • F Javier Salguero
  • Gerben Roelof Borst
  • Ji-Ying Song
  • Ton G van Leeuwen
  • Johannes F de Boer
  • Tanja Alderliesten


Lung cancer survival is poor, and radiation therapy patients often suffer serious treatment side effects. The esophagus is particularly sensitive leading to acute radiation-induced esophageal damage (ARIED). We investigated the feasibility of optical coherence tomography (OCT) for minimally invasive imaging of the esophagus with high resolution (10  μm) to detect ARIED in mice. Thirty mice underwent cone-beam computed tomography imaging for initial setup assessment and dose planning followed by a single-dose delivery of 4.0, 10.0, 16.0, and 20.0 Gy on 5.0-mm spots, spaced 10.0 mm apart in the esophagus. They were repeatedly imaged using OCT up to three months postirradiation. We compared OCT findings with histopathology obtained three months postirradiation qualitatively and quantitatively using the contrast-to-background-noise ratio (CNR). Histopathology mostly showed inflammatory infiltration and edema at higher doses; OCT findings were in agreement with most of the histopathological reports. We were able to identify the ARIED on OCT as a change in tissue scattering and layer thickness. Our statistical analysis showed significant difference between the CNR values of healthy tissue, edema, and inflammatory infiltration. Overall, the average CNR for inflammatory infiltration and edema damages was 1.6-fold higher and 1.6-fold lower than for the healthy esophageal wall, respectively. Our results showed the potential role of OCT to detect and monitor the ARIED in mice, which may translate to humans.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number4
Early online date12 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018