Anatomical optical coherence tomography in the human upper airway

Julian Armstrong

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    316 Downloads (Pure)


    [Truncated abstract] This thesis describes the development, clinical validation and initial application of a technique for taking measurements of the shape and dimensions of the human upper airway, called anatomical optical coherence tomography (aOCT). The technique uses a transparent catheter containing a rotating optical probe which is introduced transnasally and positioned in the airway and oesophagus. Optical coherence tomography is used to take calibrated cross-sectional images of the airway lumen as the probe rotates. The probe can also be advanced or withdrawn within the catheter during scanning to build up three-dimensional information. The catheter remains stationary so that the subject is not aware of the probe motion. The initial application of the system is research into obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), a serious condition characterized by repetitive collapse of the upper airway during sleep and an independent risk factor for deaths by heart disease, strokes or car accidents. Measurement of upper airway size and shape is important for the investigation of the pathophysiology of OSA, and for the development and assesment of new treatments. . . We have used aOCT to capture three-dimensional data sets of the airway shape from upper oesophagus to the nasal cavity, undertaken measurements of compliance and other airway characteristics, and recorded dynamic airway shape during confirmed sleep apnoea events in a hospital sleep laboratory. We have shown that aOCT generates quantitative, real-time measurements of upper airway size and shape, allowing study over lengthy periods during both sleep and wakefulness. These features should make it useful for study of upper airway behavior to investigate OSA pathophysiology, and aid clinical management and treatment development.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2006


    Dive into the research topics of 'Anatomical optical coherence tomography in the human upper airway'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this