Background: The ability to visualize subsurface blood vessels and measure flow may be useful in certain experimental and clinical settings. Methods: Color Doppler optical coherence tomography was used to visualize and measure blood flow in subsurface vessels in vivo in a rat skin flap model. Local "hemostatic" interventions (epinephrine or sclerosant injection, heat probe, and laser) were then applied and imaging was repeated. The skin flap was evaluated histologically. Results: Subsurface blood vessels were easily visualized in cross-section, and vessel diameter and bidirectional blood flow velocity were readily measured. Color Doppler optical coherence tomography demonstrated that flow was significantly reduced after epinephrine injection and became undetectable after the other interventions. This correlated with pathologic evidence of vessel damage in all interventions, except for epinephrine injection. Although vessel response was as predicted to most interventions, the response to epinephrine was only temporary, and limited application of heat alone from the heat probe halted flow without visually apparent surface injury. Conclusions: Color Doppler optical coherence tomography provides high-resolution, cross-sectional flow imaging in subsurface blood vessels. Color Doppler optical coherence tomography is potentially a better technique for the study of existing and new hemostatic intervention in the laboratory. Potential future clinical applications include monitoring of the response to hemostatic modalities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging