Optical coherence tomography assessment of vessel wall degradation in thoracic aortic aneurysms
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AuthorReal Peña, Eusebio; Eguizabal Aguado, Alma; Pontón Cortina, Alejandro; Calvo Díez, Marta; Val Bernal, José Fernando; Mayorga Fernández, Marta María; Revuelta Soba, José Manuel; López Higuera, José Miguel; Conde Portilla, Olga María
Optical coherence tomography images of human thoracic aorta from aneurysms reveal elastin disorders and smooth muscle cell alterations when visualizing the media layer of the aortic wall. These disorders can be employed as indicators for wall degradation and, therefore, become a hallmark for diagnosis of risk of aneurysm under intraoperative conditions. Two approaches are followed to evaluate this risk: the analysis of the reflectivity decay along the penetration depth and the textural analysis of a two-dimensional spatial distribution of the aortic wall backscattering. Both techniques require preprocessing stages for the identification of the air–sample interface and for the segmentation of the media layer. Results show that the alterations in the media layer of the aortic wall are better highlighted when the textural approach is considered and also agree with a semiquantitative histopathological grading that assesses the degree of wall degradation. The correlation of the co-occurrence matrix attains a sensitivity of 0.906 and specificity of 0.864 when aneurysm automatic diagnosis is evaluated with a receiver operating characteristic curve.