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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Label-free optical lymphangiography: development of an automatic segmentation method applied to optical coherence tomography to visualize lymphatic vessels using Hessian filters
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Paper Abstract

Lymphatic vessels are a part of the circulatory system that collect plasma and other substances that have leaked from the capillaries into interstitial fluid (lymph) and transport lymph back to the circulatory system. Since lymph is transparent, lymphatic vessels appear as dark hallow vessel-like regions in optical coherence tomography (OCT) cross sectional images. We propose an automatic method to segment lymphatic vessel lumen from OCT structural cross sections using eigenvalues of Hessian filters. Compared to the existing method based on intensity threshold, Hessian filters are more selective on vessel shape and less sensitive to intensity variations and noise. Using this segmentation technique along with optical micro-angiography allows label-free noninvasive simultaneous visualization of blood and lymphatic vessels in vivo. Lymphatic vessels play an important role in cancer, immune system response, inflammatory disease, wound healing and tissue regeneration. Development of imaging techniques and visualization tools for lymphatic vessels is valuable in understanding the mechanisms and studying therapeutic methods in related disease and tissue response.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 August 2013
PDF: 9 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 18(8) 086004 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.18.8.086004
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 18, Issue 8
Show Author Affiliations
Siavash Yousefi, Univ. of Washington (United States)
Jia Qin, Univ. of Washington (United States)
Zhongwei Zhi, Univ. of Washington (United States)
Ruikang K. Wang, Univ. of Washington (United States)

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