1. Feature Of The Week 02/15/15: Optical Coherence Tomography Identifies Lower Labial Salivary Gland Surface Density in Cystic Fibrosis

    Feature Of The Week 02/15/15: Optical Coherence Tomography Identifies Lower Labial Salivary Gland Surface Density in Cystic Fibrosis

    Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease that affects multiple organs due to the production of abnormally viscous mucus. Recurring pulmonary infections result in build-up of lung damage which leads to death. Intestinal, pancreatic, and hepatobiliary complications also occur, further aggravating the course of the disease. The molecular basis of CF is the dysfunction of the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). CFTR-related disruption of transmembrane ion transport affects the exocrine glands, among which are the labial salivary glands (LSGs).

    Optical coherence tomography (OCT) enables non-invasive visualization of the internal structures of tissues at micrometer resolution in vivo and in real time. Different segments of the alimentary tract can be imaged with OCT revealing microstructural details of their mucous membranes.

    In this study, we apply a new generation of OCT technology, called swept source OCT (SS-OCT), in the in vivo imaging of the mucosa of the lower lip to assess the differences in LSGs’ surface density between CF patients and healthy subjects. We demonstrate wide-field volumetric ‘optical biopsy’ of LSGs and we present their comprehensive microarchitectural details. We also show that the surface density (number of glands per area unit) in CF patients is significantly lower than in healthy subjects, which is a previously unrecognized CF-related pathology of the alimentary tract.

    For more information see recent Article. Courtesy of Jan Nowak from Poznan University of Medical Sciences and Ireneusz Grulkowski from Nicolaus Copernicus University.

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