Correlation of collagen synthesis with polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography imaging of in vitro human atherosclerosis

Wen Chuan Kuo*, Jeou Jong Shyu, Nai Kuan Chou, Chih Ming Lai, En Kuang Tien, Huan Jang Huang, Chien Chou, Gwo Jen Jan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Atherosclerosis is unquestionably the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in developed countries. In the mean time, the worldwide importance of acute vascular syndromes is increasing. Because collagen fiber is a critical component of atherosclerotic lesions; it constitutes up to 60% of the total atherosclerotic plaque protein. The uncontrolled collagen accumulation leads to arterial stenosis, whereas excessive collagen breakdown weakens plaques thereby making them prone to rupture finally. Thus, in this study, we present the first application, to our knowledge, of using polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) in human atherosclerosis. We demonstrate this technique for imaging of intensity, birefringence, and fast-axis orientation simultaneously in atherosclerotic plaques. This in vitro study suggests that the birefringence change in plaque is due to the prominent deposition of collagen according to the correlation of PS-OCT images with histological counterpart. Moreover, we can acquire quantitative criteria based on the change of polarization of incident beam to estimate whether the collagen synthesized is "too much" or "not enough". Thus by combining of high resolution intensity imaging and birefringence detection makes PS-OCT could be a potentially powerful tool for early assessment of atherosclerosis appearance and the prediction of plaque rupture in clinic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number97
Pages (from-to)563-571
Number of pages9
JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventCoherence Domain Optical Methods and Optical Coherence Tomography in Biomedicine IX - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: 23 01 200526 01 2005


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Birefringence
  • Collagen
  • Fast axis orientation
  • Histology
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Phase retardation
  • Plaque rupture
  • Polarization
  • Protein


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