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Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open Access

Distinguishing tracheal and esophageal tissues with hyperspectral imaging and fiber-optic sensing
Author(s): Corinne D. Nawn; Brian Souhan; Robert Carter; Caitlin Kneapler; Nicholas Fell; Jing Yong Ye

Paper Abstract

During emergency medical situations, where the patient has an obstructed airway or necessitates respiratory support, endotracheal intubation (ETI) is the medical technique of placing a tube into the trachea in order to facilitate adequate ventilation of the lungs. Complications during ETI, such as repeated attempts, failed intubation, or accidental intubation of the esophagus, can lead to severe consequences or ultimately death. Consequently, a need exists for a feedback mechanism to aid providers in performing successful ETI. Our study examined the spectral reflectance properties of the tracheal and esophageal tissue to determine whether a unique spectral profile exists for either tissue for the purpose of detection. The study began by using a hyperspectral camera to image excised pig tissue samples exposed to white and UV light in order to capture the spectral reflectance properties with high fidelity. After identifying a unique spectral characteristic of the trachea that significantly differed from esophageal tissue, a follow-up investigation used a fiber optic probe to confirm the detectability and consistency of the different reflectance characteristics in a pig model. Our results characterize the unique and consistent spectral reflectance characteristic of tracheal tissue, thereby providing foundational support for exploiting spectral properties to detect the trachea during medical procedures.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 November 2016
PDF: 10 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 21(11) 117004 doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.21.11.117004
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 21, Issue 11
Show Author Affiliations
Corinne D. Nawn, U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (United States)
Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (United States)
Univ. of Texas at San Antonio (United States)
Brian Souhan, U.S. Military Academy (United States)
Robert Carter, U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (United States)
Univ. of Texas Health Science Ctr. at San Antonio (United States)
Caitlin Kneapler, U.S. Military Academy (United States)
Nicholas Fell, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
Jing Yong Ye, The Univ. of Texas at San Antonio (United States)
Univ. of Texas Health Science Ctr. at San Antonio (United States)

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