Optical coherence tomography assessment of vessel wall degradation in aneurysmatic thoracic aortas
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AuthorReal Peña, Eusebio; Eguizabal Aguado, Alma; Pontón Cortina, Alejandro; Val Bernal, José Fernando; Mayorga Fernández, Marta María; Revuelta Soba, José Manuel; López Higuera, José Miguel; Conde Portilla, Olga María
Optical coherence tomographic images of ascending thoracic human aortas from aneurysms exhibit disorders on the smooth muscle cell structure of the media layer of the aortic vessel as well as elastin degradation. Ex-vivo measurements of human samples provide results that correlate with pathologist diagnosis in aneurysmatic and control aortas. The observed disorders are studied as possible hallmarks for aneurysm diagnosis. To this end, the backscattering profile along the vessel thickness has been evaluated by fitting its decay against two different models, a third order polynomial fitting and an exponential fitting. The discontinuities present on the vessel wall on aneurysmatic aortas are slightly better identified with the exponential approach. Aneurysmatic aortic walls present uneven reflectivity decay when compared with healthy vessels. The fitting error has revealed as the most favorable indicator for aneurysm diagnosis as it provides a measure of how uniform is the decay along the vessel thickness.