Abstract

The ability to measure in vivo wall strain in embryonic hearts is important for fully understanding the mechanisms of cardiac development. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a powerful tool for the three-dimensional imaging of complex myocardial activities in early-stage embryonic hearts with high spatial and temporal resolutions. We describe a method to analyze periodic deformations of myocardial walls and evaluate in vivo myocardial wall strains with a high-speed spectral domain OCT system. We perform four-dimensional scanning on the outflow tract (OFT) of chick embryonic hearts and determine a special cross-section in which the OFT can be approximated as an annulus by analyzing Doppler blood-flow velocities. For each image acquired at the special cross-section, the annular myocardial wall is segmented with a semiautomatic boundary-detection algorithm, and the fluctuation myocardial wall thickness is calculated from the area and mean circumference of the myocardial wall. The experimental results shown with the embryonic chick hearts demonstrate that the proposed method is a useful tool for studying the biomechanical characteristics of embryonic hearts.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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