Optical coherence tomography: a new method to assess aneurysm healing

J Neurosurg. 2005 Feb;102(2):348-54. doi: 10.3171/jns.2005.102.2.0348.


Object: Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage affects approximately 10/100,000 people per year. Endovascular coil embolization is used increasingly to treat cerebral aneurysms and its safety and durability is rapidly developing. The long-term durability of coil embolization of cerebral aneurysms remains in question; patients treated using this modality require multiple follow-up angiography studies and occasional repeated treatments.

Methods: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an emerging imaging modality that uses backscattered light to produce high-resolution tomography of optically accessible biological tissues such as the eye, luminal surface of blood vessels, and gastrointestinal tract. Vascular OCT probes in the form of imaging microwires are presently available--although not Food and Drug Administration-approved--and may be adapted for use in the cerebral circulation. In this study the authors describe the initial use of OCT to make visible the neck of aneurysms created in a canine model and treated with coil embolization. Optical coherence tomography images demonstrate changes that correlate with the histological findings of healing at the aneurysm neck and thus may be capable of demonstrating human cerebral aneurysm healing.

Conclusions: Optical coherence tomography may obviate the need for subsequent follow-up angiography studies as well as aid in the understanding of endovascular tissue healing. Data in this study demonstrate that further investigation of in vivo imaging with such probes is warranted.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carotid Arteries / pathology
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / pathology
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / therapy
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Cerebral Arteries / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dogs
  • Embolization, Therapeutic*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / pathology*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / therapy
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing / physiology*