Research Papers: Imaging

Label-free optical lymphangiography: development of an automatic segmentation method applied to optical coherence tomography to visualize lymphatic vessels using Hessian filters

[+] Author Affiliations
Siavash Yousefi, Jia Qin, Zhongwei Zhi, Ruikang K. Wang

University of Washington, Department of Bioengineering, Seattle, Washington 98195

J. Biomed. Opt. 18(8), 086004 (Aug 07, 2013). doi:10.1117/1.JBO.18.8.086004
History: Received April 30, 2013; Revised June 11, 2013; Accepted July 2, 2013
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Abstract.  Lymphatic vessels are a part of the circulatory system that collect plasma and other substances that have leaked from the capillaries into interstitial fluid (lymph) and transport lymph back to the circulatory system. Since lymph is transparent, lymphatic vessels appear as dark hallow vessel-like regions in optical coherence tomography (OCT) cross sectional images. We propose an automatic method to segment lymphatic vessel lumen from OCT structural cross sections using eigenvalues of Hessian filters. Compared to the existing method based on intensity threshold, Hessian filters are more selective on vessel shape and less sensitive to intensity variations and noise. Using this segmentation technique along with optical micro-angiography allows label-free noninvasive simultaneous visualization of blood and lymphatic vessels in vivo. Lymphatic vessels play an important role in cancer, immune system response, inflammatory disease, wound healing and tissue regeneration. Development of imaging techniques and visualization tools for lymphatic vessels is valuable in understanding the mechanisms and studying therapeutic methods in related disease and tissue response.

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© 2013 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Siavash Yousefi ; Jia Qin ; Zhongwei Zhi and Ruikang K. Wang
"Label-free optical lymphangiography: development of an automatic segmentation method applied to optical coherence tomography to visualize lymphatic vessels using Hessian filters", J. Biomed. Opt. 18(8), 086004 (Aug 07, 2013). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JBO.18.8.086004


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