Contrast-enhanced imaging of cerebral vasculature with laser speckle

Appl Opt. 2007 Aug 1;46(22):5340-6. doi: 10.1364/ao.46.005340.


High-resolution cerebral vasculature imaging has applications ranging from intraoperative procedures to basic neuroscience research. Laser speckle, with spatial contrast processing, has recently been used to map cerebral blood flow. We present an application of the technique using temporal contrast processing to image cerebral vascular structures with a field of view a few millimeters across and approximately 20 microm resolution through a thinned skull. We validate the images using fluorescent imaging and demonstrate a factor of 2-4 enhancement in contrast-to-noise ratios over reflectance imaging using white or spectrally filtered green light. The contrast enhancement enables the perception of approximately 10%-30% more vascular structures without the introduction of any contrast agent.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology*
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Contrast Media / pharmacology
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Lasers*
  • Light
  • Models, Statistical
  • Photometry / methods*
  • Rats
  • Rheology / methods*
  • Rhodamines / pharmacology
  • Skull / pathology
  • Time Factors


  • Contrast Media
  • Rhodamines