Sunday, April 20th, 2014

Optical Coherence Tomography of the Newborn Airway
Authors:  James M. Ridgway, MD; Jianping Su, MS; Ryan Wright; Shuguang Guo, PhD; David C. Kim, MD; Roberto Barretto, MD; Gurpreet Ahuja, MD; Ali Sepehr, MD; Jorge Perez; Jack H. Sills, MD; Zhongping Chen, PhD; Brian J. F. Wong, MD, PhD
  Objectives: Acquired subglottic stenosis in a newborn is often associated with prolonged endotracheal intubation. This condition is generally diagnosed during operative endoscopy after airway injury has occurred. Unfortunately, endoscopy is unable to characterize the submucosal changes observed in such airway injuries. Other modalities, such as magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, and ultrasound, do not possess the necessary level of resolution to differentiate scar, neocartilage, and edema. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an imaging modality that produces high-resolution, cross-sectional images of living tissue (8 to 20 μm). We examined the ability of this noninvasive technique to characterize the newborn airway in a prospective clinical trial.
Methods: Twelve newborn patients who required ventilatory support underwent OCT airway imaging. Comparative analysis of intubated and non-intubated states was performed.
Results: Imaging of the supraglottis, glottis, subglottis, and trachea was performed in 12 patients, revealing unique tissue characteristics as related to turbidity, signal backscattering, and architecture. Multiple structures were identified, including the vocal folds, cricoid cartilage, tracheal rings, ducts, glands, and vessels.
Conclusions: Optical coherence tomography clearly identifies in vivo tissue layers and regional architecture while offering detailed information concerning tissue microstructures. The diagnostic potential of this technology makes OCT a promising modality in the study and surveillance of the neonatal airway.
(Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 2008;117:327-334.)
Keywords:  imaging, newborn airway, optical coherence tomography, subglottic stenosis
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