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Optical coherence tomography.

Science (New York, N.Y.)

methods, Coronary Disease, diagnosis, Coronary Vessels, pathology, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, In Vitro Techniques, Retinal Diseases, Tomography

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      A technique called optical coherence tomography (OCT) has been developed for noninvasive cross-sectional imaging in biological systems. OCT uses low-coherence interferometry to produce a two-dimensional image of optical scattering from internal tissue microstructures in a way that is analogous to ultrasonic pulse-echo imaging. OCT has longitudinal and lateral spatial resolutions of a few micrometers and can detect reflected signals as small as approximately 10(-10) of the incident optical power. Tomographic imaging is demonstrated in vitro in the peripapillary area of the retina and in the coronary artery, two clinically relevant examples that are representative of transparent and turbid media, respectively.

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