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Optical coherence tomography catheter for elastographic property mapping of lumens utilizing micropalpation

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Optical coherence tomography catheter for elastographic property mapping of lumens utilizing micropalpation


An optical coherence tomography (OCT) catheter, for performing high performance elastographic deformation mapping of tissues and plaques, comprises: a catheter having elongated catheter body extending longitudinally between a proximal end and a distal end along a longitudinal axis, the catheter body including a distal portion at the distal end and a catheter lumen; a palpator, disposed in the distal portion, to apply one of a directed fluid or a mechanical indenter to produce a surface-applied palpation force to a target area of the interior body to mechanically displace the interior body and cause elastographic deformation of the target area of one or more surface and subsurface tissues and plaques; and OCT imaging sensor, disposed in the distal portion, to direct and deliver OCT beam for OCT deformation detection including elastographic deformation measurement to provide elastographic mapping of the target area.
Related Terms: Palpation

Browse recent St. Jude Medical, Inc. patents - St. Paul, MN, US
Inventors: John SLIWA, Yu LIU
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120265062 - Class: 600427 (USPTO) - 10/18/12 - Class 600 
Surgery > Diagnostic Testing >Detecting Nuclear, Electromagnetic, Or Ultrasonic Radiation >With Tomographic Imaging Obtained From Electromagnetic Wave >Combined With Therapeutic Or Diagnostic Device

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120265062, Optical coherence tomography catheter for elastographic property mapping of lumens utilizing micropalpation.

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RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is based on and claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/475,173, filed Apr. 13, 2011, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to medical imaging, and more specifically to a catheter having a palpator that applies a tip-directed fluid or tip-directed indenter to cause elastographic deformation and an optical coherence tomography (OCT) imager to provide high speed elastographic property mapping.

Vascular catheter based elastography palpation using OCT (OCTe) has been done using global (noninvasive) compression or using the natural blood pressure cycle as the palpation force inducing the observed tissue deformations. Such an approach tends to be slow and incapable of producing high strain gradients, thereby reducing the resolution of the elastographic property mapping and the speed at which the mapping is done. A more recent development provides a combined system that synchronizes OCT and acoustic radiation force for simultaneously imaging and mechanically displacing tissue in a patient as a detection and analytical tool. The combined system provides an endoscopic probe having a piezoelectric element that generates the acoustic force to displace the tissue and an OCT scanner that images the tissue. The mechanical displacement of the tissue can be determined and any cancer and arterial plaques can be recognized from the mechanical displacement. See U.S. Pat. No. 7,999,945.

BRIEF

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

Embodiments of the present invention provide a catheter having a palpator that applies a directed fluid or mechanical indenter to cause elastographic deformation and an OCT imager to provide high speed elastographic property mapping.

An aspect of the present invention is directed to an optical coherence tomography (OCT) catheter for performing high performance elastographic deformation mapping of tissues and plaques of an interior body. The OCT catheter comprises: a catheter having an elongated catheter body extending longitudinally between a proximal end and a distal end along a longitudinal axis, the catheter body including a distal portion at the distal end and a catheter lumen from the proximal end to the distal end; a palpator, disposed in the distal portion, to apply one of a directed fluid or a mechanical indenter to produce a surface-applied palpation force to a target area of the interior body to mechanically displace the interior body and cause elastographic deformation of the target area of one or more surface and subsurface tissues and plaques; and an OCT imaging sensor, disposed in the distal portion, to direct and deliver an OCT beam for OCT deformation detection including elastographic deformation measurement to provide elastographic mapping of the target area.

The palpator may comprise a thermal microbubble driven emitter to explosively evaporate a fluid to create one or more microbubbles which cause emission of some of the fluid to produce palpating shock waves. The palpator may comprise a flowable liquid jet or orifice to apply a directed fluid flow force for a period. In that case, the palpator is configured to generate pulse pressure in the distal portion to produce pulsed fluid palpation to apply the directed fluid flow force via the flowable liquid jet or orifice.

In some embodiments, the palpation force has a palpation force vector, and the palpation force vector and the OCT beam are substantially concentric. The palpator is configured to apply the directed fluid to produce at least one pair of palpation forces, each pair being in opposite directions. The OCT catheter further comprises a closed balloon disposed around the distal portion and being filled with a liquid that is transparent to OCT wavelengths. The closed balloon is inflatable against a surface of the interior body. Palpation by the palpator and elastographic mapping by the OCT imaging sensor are performed through a balloon wall of the balloon. The OCT catheter further comprises a biasing member to bias the distal portion against the target area of the interior body. The biasing member comprises a balloon which is inflatable to bias the distal portion against the target area of the interior body. The distal portion is in contact with the target area for delivery of the palpation force and has a shape to cause nonuniform tissue deformation and tissue shear strains that are elastographically mappable.

In specific embodiments, the OCT imaging sensor includes a movable reflector to receive light from a light source, and an actuator device to move the movable reflector in at least one of translation or rotation to direct the light to scan across the target area to illuminate the one or more surface and subsurface tissues and plaques before and during delivery of the palpation force. The OCT imaging sensor includes a lens to focus the OCT beam at a distance. The OCT catheter further comprises an acoustic imaging transducer, disposed in the distal portion, to provide ultrasonic imaging of the target area.

In some embodiments, the OCT catheter further comprises a control device to synchronize the palpation force and the OCT beam to perform OCT deformation detection including elastographic deformation measurement to provide elastographic mapping of the one or more surface and subsurface tissues and plaques. The OCT catheter further comprises an analysis module to determine displacement of the target area resulting from delivery of the palpation force. The analysis module is configured to perform OCT deformation detection in a manner which takes into account any simultaneous deformations due to blood flow or perfusion. The analysis module is configured to implement an additional optical analytical modality utilizing at least some common portion of the OCT beam\'s optical path to produce additional optical spectroscopic information. The analysis module is configured to provide compositional mapping of the target area using both the elastographic deformation measurement and the additional optical spectroscopic information in combination.

In specific embodiments, the OCT catheter further comprises a mechanism to change orientation of the OCT beam and the palpation force to be directed to different target areas of the interior body. The OCT catheter further comprises an analysis module to provide three dimensional mapping of the one or more surface and subsurface tissues and plaques of the interior body based on OCT deformation detection including elastographic deformation measurement by the OCT imaging sensor of the different target areas of the interior body. Deformations detected in the OCT deformation detection include both temporary deformations and permanent plastic deformations, the temporary deformations being at least one of elastic or viscoelastic.

Another aspect of the invention is directed to a method for performing elastographic deformation mapping of tissues and plaques. The method comprises: introducing a distal portion of a catheter to an interior of an interior body of a patient, the catheter including an elongated catheter body extending longitudinally between a proximal end and a distal end along a longitudinal axis, the catheter body including the distal portion at the distal end and a catheter lumen from the proximal end to the distal end; applying, from a palpator in the distal portion, one of a directed fluid or a mechanical indenter to produce a surface-applied palpation force to a target area of the interior body to mechanically displace the interior body and cause elastographic deformation of the target area of one or more surface and subsurface tissues and plaques; and directing and delivering an OCT (optical coherence tomography) beam, from an OCT imaging sensor in the distal portion, for OCT deformation detection including elastographic deformation measurement to provide elastographic mapping of the target area.

These and other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art in view of the following detailed description of the specific embodiments.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a catheter device disposed in a vessel of a patient to provide high speed elastographic property mapping of the lumen utilizing micropalpation delivered from an OCT-equipped catheter tip portion.

FIG. 2 is a partial sectional view of the distal portion of the catheter showing the fluidic palpator, OCT imaging sensor, and acoustic imaging sensor according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2A schematically illustrates an example of the OCT imaging sensor.

FIG. 3 is a partial sectional view of the distal portion of the catheter showing a balloon around the distal portion according to another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4A is a partial sectional view of the distal portion of the catheter showing the palpator utilizing a mechanical indenter according to another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4B is an enlarged view of the mechanical indenter of FIG. 4A.



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Previous Patent Application:
High speed elastographic property mapping of lumens utilizing micropalpation delivered from an oct-equipped catheter tip
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Target location by tracking of imaging device
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Surgery
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120265062 A1
Publish Date
10/18/2012
Document #
13285178
File Date
10/31/2011
USPTO Class
600427
Other USPTO Classes
600425
International Class
/
Drawings
5


Palpation


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