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Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open Access

Nonlinear optical microscopy and ultrasound imaging of human cervical structure
Author(s): Lisa M. Reusch; Helen Feltovich; Lindsey C. Carlson; Gunnsteinn Hall; Paul J. Campagnola; Kevin W. Eliceiri; Timothy J. Hall

Paper Abstract

The cervix softens and shortens as its collagen microstructure rearranges in preparation for birth, but premature change may lead to premature birth. The global preterm birth rate has not decreased despite decades of research, likely because cervical microstructure is poorly understood. Our group has developed a multilevel approach to evaluating the human cervix. We are developing quantitative ultrasound (QUS) techniques for noninvasive interrogation of cervical microstructure and corroborating those results with high-resolution images of microstructure from second harmonic generation imaging (SHG) microscopy. We obtain ultrasound measurements from hysterectomy specimens, prepare the tissue for SHG, and stitch together several hundred images to create a comprehensive view of large areas of cervix. The images are analyzed for collagen orientation and alignment with curvelet transform, and registered with QUS data, facilitating multiscale analysis in which the micron-scale SHG images and millimeter-scale ultrasound data interpretation inform each other. This novel combination of modalities allows comprehensive characterization of cervical microstructure in high resolution. Through a detailed comparative study, we demonstrate that SHG imaging both corroborates the quantitative ultrasound measurements and provides further insight. Ultimately, a comprehensive understanding of specific microstructural cervical change in pregnancy should lead to novel approaches to the prevention of preterm birth.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 February 2013
PDF: 12 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 18(3) 031110 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.18.3.031110
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 18, Issue 3
Show Author Affiliations
Lisa M. Reusch, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)
Helen Feltovich, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)
Lindsey C. Carlson, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)
Gunnsteinn Hall, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)
Paul J. Campagnola, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)
Kevin W. Eliceiri, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)
Timothy J. Hall, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)


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