Polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography-based imaging, parameterization, and quantification of human cartilage degeneration
Polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) is a light-based, high-resolution, real-time, noninvasive, and nondestructive imaging modality yielding quasimicroscopic cross-sectional images of cartilage. As yet, comprehensive parameterization and quantification of birefringence and tissue properties have not been performed on human cartilage. PS-OCT and algorithm-based image analysis were used to objectively grade human cartilage degeneration in terms of surface irregularity, tissue homogeneity, signal attenuation, as well as birefringence coefficient and band width, height, depth, and number. Degeneration-dependent changes were noted for the former three parameters exclusively, thereby questioning the diagnostic value of PS-OCT in the assessment of human cartilage degeneration.