Mapping the architecture of the temporal artery with photoacoustic imaging for diagnosing giant cell arteritis

Photoacoustics. 2022 Jul 4;27:100384. doi: 10.1016/j.pacs.2022.100384. eCollection 2022 Sep.


Photoacoustic (PA) imaging is rapidly emerging as a promising clinical diagnostic tool. One of the main applications of PA imaging is to image vascular networks in humans. This relies on the signal obtained from oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin, which limits imaging of the vessel wall itself. Giant cell arteritis (GCA) is a treatable, but potentially sight- and life-threatening disease, in which the artery wall is infiltrated by leukocytes. Early intervention can prevent complications making prompt diagnosis of importance. Temporal artery biopsy is the gold standard for diagnosing GCA. We present an approach to imaging the temporal artery using multispectral PA imaging. Employing minimally supervised spectral analysis, we produce histology-like images where the artery wall is clearly discernible from the lumen and further differentiate between PA spectra from biopsies diagnosed as GCA- and GCA+ in 77 patients.

Keywords: Giant cell arteritis; Noninvasive, clinical diagnosis; Photoacoustic imaging; Unsupervised spectral analysis.