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Proceedings Paper

Spectral reflectance of the ocular fundus as a diagnostic marker for cerebral malaria
Author(s): Xun Liu; David A. Rice; Bahram Khoobehi
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Paper Abstract

The challenge of correctly identifying malaria infection continues to impede our efforts to control this disease. Recent studies report highly specific retinal changes in severe malaria patients; these retinal changes may represent a very useful diagnostic indicator for this disease. To further explore the ocular manifestations of malaria, we used hyperspectral imaging to study retinal changes caused by Plasmodium berghei ANKA parasitization in a mouse model. We collected the spectral reflectance of the ocular fundus from hyperspectral images of the mouse eye. The blood oxygen sensitive spectral region was normalized for variances in illumination, and used to calculate relative values that correspond to oxygenated hemoglobin levels. Oxygen hemoglobin levels are markedly lower in parasitized mice, indicating that hemoglobin digestion by P. berghei may be detected using spectral reflectance. Furthermore, the ocular reflectance of parasitized mice was abnormally elevated between 660nm and 750nm, suggesting fluorescence in this region. While the source of this fluorescence is not yet clear, its presence correlates strongly with P. Berghei parasitization, and may indicate the presence of hemozoin deposits in the retinal vasculature. The pathology of severe malaria still presents many questions for clinicians and scientists, and our understanding of cerebral malaria has been generally confined to clinical observation and postmortem examination. As the retina represents a portion of the central nervous system that can be easily examined noninvasively, our technique may provide the basis for an automated tool to detect and examine severe malaria via retinal changes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 February 2012
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8229, Optical Diagnostics and Sensing XII: Toward Point-of-Care Diagnostics; and Design and Performance Validation of Phantoms Used in Conjunction with Optical Measurement of Tissue IV, 82290H (2 February 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.905763
Show Author Affiliations
Xun Liu, Tulane Univ. (United States)
David A. Rice, Tulane Univ. (United States)
Bahram Khoobehi, LSU Health Sciences Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8229:
Optical Diagnostics and Sensing XII: Toward Point-of-Care Diagnostics; and Design and Performance Validation of Phantoms Used in Conjunction with Optical Measurement of Tissue IV
Gerard L. Coté; Robert J. Nordstrom, Editor(s)

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