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Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a high-resolution imaging modality with the potential to provide in situ assessment to distinguish normal from cancerous tissue. However, limited image penetration depth has restricted its utility. This paper demonstrates the feasibility of an OCT needle probe to perform interstitial imaging deep below the tissue surface. The side-facing needle probe comprises miniaturized focusing optics consisting of no-core and GRIN fiber encased within either a 22- or 23-gauge needle. 3-D OCT volumetric data sets were acquired by rotating and retracting the probe during imaging. We present the first published image of a human breast cancer tumor margin, and of human axillary lymph nodes acquired with an OCT needle probe. Through accurate correlation with the histological gold standard, OCT is shown to enable a clear delineation of tumor boundary from surrounding adipose tissue, and identification of microarchitectural features.
Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of (Volume:18 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: May-June 2012