Author(s): Maturo S, Benboujja F, Boudoux C, Hartnick C
OBJECTIVES: The primary objective of this study was to quantitatively analyze ex vivo porcine, fetal human, and adult human vocal folds by use of optical coherence tomography (OCT). A secondary objective was to quantitatively discriminate among 1-, 2-, and 3-layer lamina propria structures. METHODS: We performed an analysis of the vocal folds of 10 adult pig, 3 adult human, and 2 fetal human vocal fold specimens using OCT and histologic techniques. We present a quantitative comparison of the OCT results and histologic findings. RESULTS: We found that OCT allowed for the visualization of the subepithelial vocal fold architecture of all imaged tissue, and that it revealed distinct characteristic signal intensities for each type of specimen. CONCLUSIONS: Optical coherence tomography was developed for in vivo imaging of biological microstructures. This study demonstrates the ability of OCT to differentiate between the vocal fold architectures of 3 histologically distinct types of vocal folds. Future studies aim to develop a quantitative optical imaging algorithm that can be used to facilitate an in vivo longitudinal clinical investigation of the changes that occur in this layered structure over time and maturation.