Morpho-molecular signal correlation between optical coherence tomography and Raman spectroscopy for superior image interpretation and clinical diagnosis

in: Scientific Reports (2021)
Schie, Iwan W.; Placzek, Fabian; Knorr, Florian; Cordero, Eliana; Wurster, Lara M.; Hermann, Gregers G.; Mogensen, Karin; Hasselager, Thomas; Drexler, Wolfgang; Popp, Jürgen; Leitgeb, Rainer Andreas
The combination of manifold optical imaging modalities resulting in multimodal optical systems allows to discover a larger number of biomarkers than using a single modality. The goal of multimodal imaging systems is to increase the diagnostic performance through the combination of complementary modalities, e.g. optical coherence tomography (OCT) and Raman spectroscopy (RS). The physical signal origins of OCT and RS are distinctly different, i.e. in OCT it is elastic back scattering of photons, due to a change in refractive index, while in RS it is the inelastic scattering between photons and molecules. Despite those diverse characteristics both modalities are also linked via scattering properties and molecular composition of tissue. Here, we investigate for the first time the relation of co-registered OCT and RS signals of human bladder tissue, to demonstrate that the signals of these complementary modalities are inherently intertwined, enabling a direct but more importantly improved interpretation and better understanding of the other modality. This work demonstrates that the benefit for using two complementary imaging approaches is, not only the increased diagnostic value, but the increased information and better understanding of the signal origins of both modalities. This evaluation confirms the advantages for using multimodal imaging systems and also paves the way for significant further improved understanding and clinically interpretation of both modalities in the future.

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