Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a promising new technique for characterizing the structural changes of articular cartilage in osteoarthritis (OA). The calculation of quantitative parameters from the OCT signal is an important step to develop OCT as an effective diagnostic technique. In this study, two novel parameters for the quantification of optical surface reflection and surface roughness from OCT measurements are introduced: optical surface reflection coefficient (ORC), describing the amount of a ratio of the optical reflection from cartilage surface with respect to that from a reference material, and OCT roughness index (ORI) indicating the smoothness of the cartilage surface. The sensitivity of ORC and ORI to detect changes in bovine articular cartilage samples after enzymatic degradations of collagen and proteoglycans using collagenase and trypsin enzymes, respectively, was tested in vitro. A significant decrease (p < 0.001) in ORC as well as a significant increase (p < 0.001) in ORI was observed after collagenase digestion. After trypsin digestion, no significant changes in ORC or ORI were observed. To conclude, the new parameters introduced were demonstrated to be feasible and sensitive to detect typical OA-like degenerative changes in the collagen network. From the clinical point of view, the quantification of OCT measurements is of great interest since OCT probes have been already miniaturized and applied in patient studies during arthroscopy or open knee surgery in vivo. Further studies are still necessary to demonstrate the clinical capability of the introduced parameters for naturally occurring early OA changes in the cartilage.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging