Introduction Optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides high resolution imaging of tissue; this technology has been validated using intra-arterial catheters in the evaluation of arterial anatomy, pathology and treatments. The perforating cerebral arteries and intracranial stents have not been previously visualized with an OCT catheter.
Methods Using a standard transfemoral endovascular technique, a LightLab C7 Dragonfly catheter was inserted in the middle and posterior cerebral arteries of a fresh frozen cadaver. OCT images of the cerebral vessels and a deployed Pipeline Embolization Device were acquired using the LightLab C7-XR OCT Intravascular Imaging System.
Results Distal cerebral artery access with the imaging catheter was feasible via the femoral artery using a distal access catheter instead of the standard monorail system used in coronary investigations. Imaging of perforators and stent struts had exceptional resolution.
Conclusion The first use of a commercial OCT catheter in the evaluation of intracranial vessels using transfemoral endovascular techniques is described. Challenges of intracranial OCT include blood clearance and vessel tortuosity. This technology may aid in the diagnosis and treatment of cerebrovascular disease in the future.
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Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.