Objective: To evaluate the feasibility of optical coherence tomography, a new method of micron-scale imaging, for high-resolution assessment of the oviduct. Optical coherence tomography is analogous to ultrasound except that it measures the backreflection of infrared light rather than acoustical waves.
Design: The ampulla of a human fallopian tube was imaged in vitro using optical coherence tomography. Images were generated in 2 and 3 dimensions.
Patient(s): Samples were obtained from women who had undergone hysterectomy for leiomyomatosis.
Main outcome measure(s): The ability to perform imaging on a micron scale, which is a level of resolution higher than that of any currently available clinical technology.
Result(s): Two- and three-dimensional data sets of the reflectance of a human fallopian tube were acquired. A volume of 5 x 5 x 2.5 mm (length x width x depth) was scanned. The axial resolution was 11 microm, and the lateral resolution at the focus was 20 microm. The data sets showed detailed structures of the fallopian tube.
Conclusion(s): Our ability to obtain micron-scale two- and three-dimensional images of an in vitro oviduct suggests that it may be possible to identify and surgically treat tubal causes of infertility.