Detection and monitoring of early airway injury effects of half-mustard (2-chloroethylethylsulfide) exposure using high-resolution optical coherence tomography

Kelly A. Kreuter, Sari B. Mahon, David S. Mukai, Jianping Su, Woong Gyu Jung, Navneet Narula, Shuguang Guo, Nicole Wakida, Chris Raub, Michael W. Berns, Steven George, Zhongping Chen, Matthew Brenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a noninvasive, high-resolution imaging technology capable of delivering real-time, near-histologic images of tissues. Mustard gas is a vesicant-blistering agent that can cause severe and lethal damage to airway and lungs. The ability to detect and assess airway injury in the clinical setting of mustard exposure is currently limited. The purpose of this study is to assess the ability to detect and monitor progression of half-mustard [2-chloroethylethylsulfide (CEES)] airway injuries with OCT techniques. A ventilated rabbit mustard exposure airway injury model is developed. A flexible fiber optic OCT probe is introduced into the distal trachea to image airway epithelium and mucosa in vivo. Progression of airway injury is observed over eight hours with OCT using a prototype time-domain superluminescent diode OCT system. OCT tracheal images from CEES exposed animals are compared to control rabbits for airway mucosal thickening and other changes. OCT detects the early occurrence and progression of dramatic changes in the experimental group after exposure to CEES. Histology and immunofluorescence staining confirms this finding. OCT has the potential to be a high resolution imaging modality capable of detecting, assessing, and monitoring treatment for airway injury following mustard vesicant agent exposures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044037
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009


  • always injury
  • mustard gas
  • optical coherence tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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