Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has recently been used to produce 3D angiography of microvasculature and blood flow maps of large vessels in the rodent brain in-vivo. However, use of this optical method for the study of cerebrovascular disease has not been fully explored. Recent developments in neurodegenerative diseases has linked common cardiovascular risk factors to neurodegenerative risk factors hinting at a vascular hypothesis for the development of the latter. Tools for studying cerebral blood flow and the myogenic tone of cerebral vasculature have thus far been either highly invasive or required ex-vivo preparations therefore not preserving the delicate in-vivo conditions. We propose a novel technique for reconstructing the flow profile over a single cardiac cycle in order to evaluate flow pulsatility and vessel compliance. A vascular model is used to simulate changes in vascular compliance and interpret OCT results. Comparison between atherosclerotic and wild type mice show a trend towards increased compliance in the smaller arterioles of the brain (diameter < 80mm) in the disease model. These results are consistent with previously published ex-vivo work confirming the ability of OCT to investigate vascular dysfunction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics