Electrophysiological and anatomical correlates of spinal cord optical coherence tomography

Mario E. Giardini, Antonio G. Zippo, Maurizio Valente, Nikola Krstajic, Gabriele E. M. Biella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite the continuous improvement in medical imaging technology, visualizing the spinal cord poses severe problems due to structural or incidental causes, such as small access space and motion artifacts. In addition, positional guidance on the spinal cord is not commonly available during surgery, with the exception of neuronavigation techniques based on static pre-surgical data and of radiation-based methods, such as fluoroscopy. A fast, bedside, intraoperative real-time imaging, particularly necessary during the positioning of endoscopic probes or tools, is an unsolved issue. The objective of our work, performed on experimental rats, is to demonstrate potential intraoperative spinal cord imaging and probe guidance by optical coherence tomography (OCT). Concurrently, we aimed to demonstrate that the electromagnetic OCT irradiation exerted no particular effect at the neuronal and synaptic levels. OCT is a user-friendly, low-cost and endoscopy-compatible photonics-based imaging technique. In particular, by using a Fourier-domain OCT imager, operating at 850 nm wavelength and scanning transversally with respect to the spinal cord, we have been able to: 1) accurately image tissue structures in an animal model (muscle, spine bone, cerebro-spinal fluid, dura mater and spinal cord), and 2) identify the position of a recording microelectrode approaching and inserting into the cord tissue 3) check that the infrared radiation has no actual effect on the electrophysiological activity of spinal neurons. The technique, potentially extendable to full three-dimensional image reconstruction, shows prospective further application not only in endoscopic intraoperative analyses and for probe insertion guidance, but also in emergency and adverse situations (e.g. after trauma) for damage recognition, diagnosis and fast image-guided intervention.
LanguageEnglish
Article numbere0152539
Number of pages15
JournalPLoS One
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2016

Fingerprint

Optical tomography
tomography
Optical Coherence Tomography
spinal cord
Spinal Cord
image analysis
probes (equipment)
Imaging techniques
Neuronavigation
Optics and Photonics
Radiation
infrared radiation
Dura Mater
Computer-Assisted Image Processing
Three-Dimensional Imaging
Tissue
endoscopy
Electromagnetic Phenomena
Fluoroscopy
spine (bones)

Keywords

  • optical coherence tomography
  • neurosurgery
  • neurosurgical intervention
  • surgical guidance
  • electrophysiology
  • medical imaging

Cite this

Giardini, Mario E. ; Zippo, Antonio G. ; Valente, Maurizio ; Krstajic, Nikola ; Biella, Gabriele E. M. / Electrophysiological and anatomical correlates of spinal cord optical coherence tomography. In: PLoS One. 2016 ; Vol. 11, No. 4.
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Electrophysiological and anatomical correlates of spinal cord optical coherence tomography. / Giardini, Mario E.; Zippo, Antonio G.; Valente, Maurizio; Krstajic, Nikola; Biella, Gabriele E. M.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 11, No. 4, e0152539, 06.04.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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