Two- and three-dimensional high-resolution imaging of the human oviduct with optical coherence tomography

Fertil Steril. 1998 Jul;70(1):155-8. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(98)00097-1.


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.

Setting: University.

Patient(s): Samples were obtained from women who had undergone hysterectomy for leiomyomatosis.

Intervention(s): None

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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Endoscopy
  • Fallopian Tubes / anatomy & histology*
  • Fallopian Tubes / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Infrared Rays
  • Tomography
  • Ultrasonography