In vivo cross-sectional imaging of the phonating larynx using long-range Doppler optical coherence tomography

Sci Rep. 2016 Mar 10;6:22792. doi: 10.1038/srep22792.


Diagnosis and treatment of vocal fold lesions has been a long-evolving science for the otolaryngologist. Contemporary practice requires biopsy of a glottal lesion in the operating room under general anesthesia for diagnosis. Current in-office technology is limited to visualizing the surface of the vocal folds with fiber-optic or rigid endoscopy and using stroboscopic or high-speed video to infer information about submucosal processes. Previous efforts using optical coherence tomography (OCT) have been limited by small working distances and imaging ranges. Here we report the first full field, high-speed, and long-range OCT images of awake patients' vocal folds as well as cross-sectional video and Doppler analysis of their vocal fold motions during phonation. These vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser source (VCSEL) OCT images offer depth resolved, high-resolution, high-speed, and panoramic images of both the true and false vocal folds. This technology has the potential to revolutionize in-office imaging of the larynx.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Laryngoscopy / instrumentation
  • Laryngoscopy / methods
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / instrumentation*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods
  • Vocal Cord Dysfunction / diagnostic imaging*
  • Vocal Cords / diagnostic imaging