Biological functions rely on local microvasculature to deliver oxygen and nutrients and carry away metabolic waste. Alterations to local oxygenation levels are manifested in diseases including cancer, diabetes mellitus, etc. The ability to quantify oxygen saturation (sO 2 ) within microvasculature in vivo to assess local tissue oxygenation and metabolic function is highly sought after. Visible light optical coherence tomography (vis-OCT) angiography has shown promise in reaching this goal. However, achieving reliable measurements in small vessels can be challenging due to the reduced contrast and requires data averaging to improve the spectral data quality. Therefore, a method for quality-control of the vis-OCT data from small vessels becomes essential to reject unreliable readings. In this work, we present a quantitative metrics to evaluate the spectral data for a reliable measurement of sO 2 , including angiography signal to noise ratio (SNR), spectral anomaly detection and discard, and theory-experiment correlation analysis. The thresholds for each quantity can be flexibly adjusted according to different applications and system performance. We used these metrics to measure sO 2 of C57BL/6J mouse lower extremity microvasculature and validated it by introducing hyperoxia for expected sO 2 changes. After validation, we applied this protocol on C57BL/6J mouse ear microvasculature to conduct in vivo small blood vessel OCT oximetry. This work seeks to standardize the data processing method for in vivo oximetry in small vessels by vis-OCT.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics