Intravascular laser speckle imaging catheter for the mechanical evaluation of the arterial wall

J Biomed Opt. 2011 Feb;16(2):026005. doi: 10.1117/1.3533322.


Laser speckle imaging (LSI) is a novel technique for measuring the mechanical properties of atherosclerotic plaques. In LSI, the decorrelation time constant of speckle intensity fluctuations provides an index of viscoelasticity that is closely related to plaque microstructure and composition. Here, we demonstrate for the first time, the feasibility of conducting LSI in vivo using a prototype 1.5 mm (4.5 Fr) diameter intravascular catheter. Investigation of the catheter performance using human arterial samples ex vivo shows that plaque time constants measured by the LSI catheter correlate well with those measured using a free-space bulk optics system. To demonstrate LSI in vivo, the catheter is interfaced with a portable console for intravascular evaluation in the aorta of a living rabbit. Distinct differences in arterial time constants are identified at normal aortic and stented sites in vivo with intravascular LSI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aorta / diagnostic imaging*
  • Aorta / physiology*
  • Catheters*
  • Elastic Modulus / physiology
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lasers*