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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Comparison of Intensity- and Polarization-based Contrast in Amyloid-beta Plaques as Observed by Optical Coherence Tomography

1
Center for Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria
2
Institute of Neurology, General Hospital and Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(10), 2100; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9102100
Received: 7 May 2019 / Revised: 17 May 2019 / Accepted: 18 May 2019 / Published: 22 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical Coherence Tomography and its Applications)
One key hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the accumulation of extracellular amyloid-beta protein in cortical regions of the brain. For a definitive diagnosis of AD, post-mortem histological analysis, including sectioning and staining of different brain regions, is required. Here, we present optical coherence tomography (OCT) as a tissue-preserving imaging modality for the visualization of amyloid-beta plaques and compare their contrast in intensity- and polarization-sensitive (PS) OCT. Human brain samples of eleven patients diagnosed with AD were imaged. Three-dimensional PS-OCT datasets were acquired and plaques were manually segmented in 500 intensity and retardation cross-sections per patient using the freely available ITK-SNAP software. The image contrast of plaques was quantified. Histological staining of tissue sections from the same specimens was performed to compare OCT findings against the gold standard. Furthermore, the distribution of plaques was evaluated for intensity-based OCT, PS-OCT and the corresponding histological amyloid-beta staining. Only 5% of plaques were visible in both intensity and retardation segmentations, suggesting that different types of plaques may be visualized by the two OCT contrast channels. Our results indicate that multicontrast OCT imaging might be a promising approach for a tissue-preserving visualization of amyloid-beta plaques in AD. View Full-Text
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; histology; microscopy; neuroimaging; polarization Alzheimer’s disease; histology; microscopy; neuroimaging; polarization
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Gesperger, J.; Lichtenegger, A.; Roetzer, T.; Augustin, M.; Harper, D.J.; Eugui, P.; Merkle, C.W.; Hitzenberger, C.K.; Woehrer, A.; Baumann, B. Comparison of Intensity- and Polarization-based Contrast in Amyloid-beta Plaques as Observed by Optical Coherence Tomography. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 2100.

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