Use of a blood substitute to determine instantaneous murine right ventricular thickening with optical coherence tomography

Joseph W. Villard, Marc D. Feldman, Jeehyun Kim, Thomas E. Milner, Gregory L. Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background - A satisfactory imaging technique to determine regional wall thickening of the murine myocardium is not available. Although cardiovascular imaging with light offers a novel solution, application is problematic because scattering by erythrocytes causes significant optical attenuation. Methods and Results - Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a technique for detailed resolution imaging of highly scattering biological tissues. To reduce the high level of blood scattering, a method was devised whereby murine blood was replaced with a hemoglobin-based blood substitute. The scattering and absorption properties of in vitro preparations of whole blood and dilutions of blood with a blood substitute were determined with a spectrophotometer and an inverse-adding doubling algorithm. OCT imaging of the same dilutions demonstrated a significant reduction in scattering at a hematocrit <5%. A fiber-optic OCT imaging system was used to image the murine right midventricular free wall before and after isovolumic replacement with blood substitute. Strong light attenuation prevented full thickness imaging before replacement, whereas visualization of the full ventricular thickness was possible after replacement. Baseline and imaging hematocrits were 52.4±3.8% and 3.7±1.2%, respectively. End-systolic and end-diastolic thickness values were 0.458±0.051 mm and 0.352±0.047 mm. Percent thickening fraction was 30.8±7.5%. Conclusion - Optical imaging of the intact beating murine right ventricle was substantially improved by isovolumic blood replacement with a hemoglobin-based blood substitute. Although the current study has been directed toward imaging the murine heart, a blood substitute may be applied to various optical diagnostic and therapeutic techniques under investigation in cardiovascular medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1843-1849
Number of pages7
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 16 2002


  • Blood substitute
  • Imaging
  • Lasers
  • Myocardium
  • Tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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