Measuring airway dimensions during bronchoscopy using anatomical optical coherence tomography

J. P. Williamson, J. J. Armstrong, R. A. McLaughlin, P. B. Noble, A. R. West, S. Becker, A. Curatolo, W. J. Noffsinger, H. W. Mitchell, M. J. Phillips, D. D. Sampson, D. R. Hillman, P. R. Eastwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Airway dimensions are difficult to quantify bronchoscopically because of optical distortion and a limited ability to gauge depth. Anatomical optical coherence tomography (aOCT), a novel imaging technique, may overcome these limitations. This study evaluated the accuracy of aOCT against existing techniques in phantom, excised pig and in vivo human airways. Three comparative studies were performed: 1) micrometer-derived area measurements in 10 plastic tubes were compared with aOCT-derived area; 2) aOCT-derived airway compliance curves from excised pig airways were compared with curves derived using an endoscopic technique; and 3) airway dimensions from the trachea to subsegmental bronchi were measured using aOCT in four anaesthetised patients during bronchoscopy and compared with computed tomography (CT) measurements. Measurements in plastic tubes revealed aOCT to be accurate and reliable. In pig airways, aOCT-derived compliance measurements compared closely with endoscopic data. In human airways, dimensions measured with aOCT and CT correlated closely. Bland - Altman plots showed that aOCT diameter and area measurements were higher than CT measurements by 7.6% and 15.1%, respectively. Airway measurements using aOCT are accurate, reliable and compare favourably with existing imaging techniques. Using aOCT with conventional bronchoscopy allows real-time measurement of airway dimensions and could be useful clinically in settings where knowledge of airway calibre is required. Copyright

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-41
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Airway dimensions
  • Computed tomography
  • Interventional bronchoscopy
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Quantitative bronchoscopy


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