Label-free metabolic imaging of non-alcoholic-fatty-liver-disease (NAFLD) liver by volumetric dynamic optical coherence tomography

Biomed Opt Express. 2022 Jun 30;13(7):4071-4086. doi: 10.1364/BOE.461433. eCollection 2022 Jul 1.


Label-free metabolic imaging of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) mouse liver is demonstrated ex vivo by dynamic optical coherence tomography (OCT). The NAFLD mouse is a methionine choline-deficient (MCD)-diet model, and two mice fed the MCD diet for 1 and 2 weeks are involved in addition to a normal-diet mouse. The dynamic OCT is based on repeating raster scan and logarithmic intensity variance (LIV) analysis that enables volumetric metabolic imaging with a standard-speed (50,000 A-lines/s) OCT system. Metabolic domains associated with lipid droplet accumulation and inflammation are clearly visualized three-dimensionally. Particularly, the normal-diet liver exhibits highly metabolic vessel-like structures of peri-vascular hepatic zones. The 1-week MCD-diet liver shows ring-shaped highly metabolic structures formed with lipid droplets. The 2-week MCD-diet liver exhibits fragmented vessel-like structures associated with inflammation. These results imply that volumetric LIV imaging is useful for visualizing and assessing NAFLD abnormalities.