Blood flow in murine epicardial and intra-myocardial coronary arteries was measured in vivo with spectral domain optical Doppler tomography (SD-ODT). Videos at frame rates up to 180 fps were collected and processed to extract phase shifts associated with moving erythrocytes in the coronary arteries. Radial averaging centered on the vessel lumen provided spatial smoothing of phase noise in a single cross-sectional frame for instantaneous peak velocity measurement without distortion of the flow profile. Temporal averaging synchronized to the cardiac cycle (i.e., gating) was also performed to reduce phase noise, although resulting in lower flow profiles. The vessel angle with respect to incident imaging beam was measured with three-dimensional raster scans collected from the same region as the high speed cross-sectional scans. The variability in peak phase measurement was 10-15% from cycle to cycle on a single animal but larger for measurements among animals. The inter-subject variability is attributed to factors related to real physiological and anatomical differences, instrumentation variables, and measurement error. The measured peak instantaneous flow velocity in a ~40-μm diameter vessel was 23.5 mm/s (28 kHz Doppler phase shift). In addition to measurement of the flow velocity, we observed several dynamic features of the vessel and surrounding myocardium in the intensity and phase sequences, including asymmetric vessel deformation and rapid flow reversal immediately following maximum flow, in confirmation of known coronary artery flow dynamics. SD-ODT is an optical imaging tool that can provide in vivo measures of structural and functional information on cardiac function in small animals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics