Cardiovascular Disease Diagnosis and Management Aided by Optical Coherence Tomography

February 23, 2012
Interschool Lab, 750 CEPSR
Hosted by: Columbia EE Department
Speaker: Dr. Christine P. Fleming , Research Fellow, Wellman Center for Photomedicine (Harvard Medical School)


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Progress within the cardiovascular field towards early diagnosis, increased efficacy in therapy and understanding the underlying mechanisms of cardiovascular diseases have been aided in part by advances in medical imaging technologies. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a non-invasive imaging modality that provides depth-resolved, high-resolution images of tissue microstructure in real-time. OCT provides subsurface imaging of depths 1-2mm in cardiac tissue with high spatial resolution (10 um) in three dimensions and high sensitivity in vivo. Fiber-based OCT systems can be incorporated into catheters to image internal organs. These features have made OCT a powerful tool for cardiovascular imaging, with major contributions to the field of coronary artery disease.

In this talk I will discuss the steps I have taken toward clinical translation of OCT for cardiovascular disease diagnosis and management. This will be described in two projects: (1) classification of atherosclerotic plaques and (2) monitoring of radiofrequency ablation therapy for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. I will demonstrate that through morphological and depth resolved spectroscopic analysis, I can increase the contrast of OCT intracoronary images. Importantly, this improves the sensitivity for classifying lipid rich plaques, which are the culprit lesions for producing acute coronary syndromes. Lastly, I will describe the design of a novel forward imaging catheter, which enable visualization of dynamic changes due to therapy.

Speaker Biography

Christine P. Fleming received the B.S. degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 2004, along with the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Case Western Reserve University in Biomedical Engineering in 2007 and 2010 respectively. Dr. Fleming is currently a Research Fellow at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Christine has been awarded predoctoral fellowships from the NIH and Medtronic and postdoctoral fellowships from the NIH and the Wellman Center.

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