Feasibility evaluation of micro-optical coherence tomography (μOCT) for rapid brain tumor type and grade discriminations: μOCT images versus pathology

Xiaojun Yu, Chi Hu, Wenfei Zhang, Jie Zhou, Qianshan Ding, M. T. Sadiq, Zeming Fan, Zhaohui Yuan, Linbo Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Precise identification, discrimination and assessment of central nervous system (CNS) tumors is of critical importance to brain neoplasm treatment. Due to the complexity and limited resolutions of the existing diagnostic tools, however, it is difficult to identify the tumors and their boundaries precisely in clinical practice, and thus, the conventional way of brain neoplasm treatment relies mainly on the experiences of neurosurgeons to make resection decisions in the surgery process. The purpose of this study is to explore the potential of Micro-optical coherence tomography (μOCT) as an intraoperative diagnostic imaging tool for identifying and discriminating glioma and meningioma with their microstructure imaging ex vivo, which thus may help neurosurgeons to perform precise surgery with low costs and reduced burdens.

Fresh glioma and meningioma samples were resected from patients, and then slices of such samples were excised and imaged instantly ex vivo with a lab-built μOCT, which achieves a spatial resolution of ~ 2.0 μm (μm). The acquired optical coherence tomography (OCT) images were pathologically evaluated and compared to their corresponding histology for both tumor type and tumor grade discriminations in different cases.

By using the lab-built μOCT, both the cross-sectional and en face images of glioma and meningioma were acquired ex vivo. Based upon the morphology results, both the glioma and meningioma types as well as the glioma grades were assessed and discriminated. Comparisons between OCT imaging results and histology showed that typical tissue microstructures of glioma and meningioma could be clearly identified and confirmed the type and grade discriminations with satisfactory accuracy.

μOCT could provide high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) imaging of the glioma and meningioma tissue microstructures rapidly ex vivo. μOCT imaging results could help discriminate both tumor types and grades, which illustrates the potential of μOCT as an intraoperative diagnostic imaging tool to help neurosurgeons perform their surgery precisely in tumor treatment process.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102 (2019)
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Medical Imaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported in part by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61705184, 51875477, 61905036), Natural Science Basic Research Plan in Shaanxi Province of China (Grant No. 2018JQ6014), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. G2018KY0308), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant No. 2018 M641013), Postdoctoral Science Foundation of Shaanxi Province (Grant No. 2018BSHYDZZ05), the seed foundation of Innovation and Creation for Graduate students in Northwestern Polytechnical University (Grant No. ZZ2019028, ZZ2019191). All funding agencies had no role in the collection, analysis, or interpretation of the data or in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s).


  • Glioma
  • Meningioma
  • Micro-OCT
  • Patholgoy
  • Tumor discrimination


Dive into the research topics of 'Feasibility evaluation of micro-optical coherence tomography (μOCT) for rapid brain tumor type and grade discriminations: μOCT images versus pathology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this