Non-contact imaging methods to distinguish between healthy tissue and brain tumor tissue during surgery would be highly desirable but are not yet available. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a non-invasive imaging technology with a resolution around 1-15 μm and a penetration depth of 1-2 mm that may satisfy the demands. To analyze its potential, we measured ex vivo human brain tumor tissue samples from 10 patients with a Spectral Domain OCT system (Thorlabs Callisto: center wavelength of 930 nm) and compared the results with standard histology. In detail, three different measurements were made for each sample. First the sample was measured directly after surgery. Then it was embedded in paraffin (also H&E staining) and examined for the second time. At last, the slices of each paraffin block cut by the pathology were measured. Each time a B-scan was created and for a better comparison with the histology a 3D image was generated, in order to get the corresponding en face images. In both, histopathological diagnosis and the analysis of the OCT images, different types of brain tumor showed difference in structure. This has been affirmed by two blinded investigators. Nevertheless the difference between two images of samples taken directly after surgery is less distinct. To enhance the contrast in the images further, we employ Spectroscopic OCT and pattern recognition algorithms and compare these results to the histopathological standard.
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