Application of cmOCT and continuous wavelet transform analysis to the assessment of skin microcirculation dynamics

Salvatore Smirni (Lead / Corresponding author), Michael MacDonald, Catherine Robertson, Paul M. McNamara, Sean O'Gorman, Martin J. Leahy, Faisel Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
290 Downloads (Pure)


Correlation mapping optical coherence tomography (cmOCT) is a powerful technique for the imaging of skin micro-vessels structure, based on the discrimination of the static and dynamic regions of the tissue. Although the suitability of cmOCT to visualize the microcirculation has been proved in humans and animal models, less evidence has been provided about its application to examine functional dynamics. Therefore, the goal of this research was validating the cmOCT method for the investigation of microvascular function and vasomotion. A spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) device was employed to image 90 sequential three-dimensional OCT volumes from the forearm of 12 volunteers during a 25 minutes post-occlusive reactive hyperaemia (PORH) test. The volumes were processed using cmOCT to generate blood flow maps at selected cutaneous depths. The maps clearly trace flow variations during the PORH response for both capillaries and arterioles/venules microvascular layers. Continuous blood flow signals were reconstructed from cmOCT maps to study vasomotion by applying wavelet transform spectral analysis, which revealed fluctuations of flow during PORH, reflecting the regulation of microvascular tone mediated by endothelial cells and sympathetic nerves. The results clearly demonstrate that cmOCT allows the generation of functional information that may be used for diagnostic applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number076006
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2018


  • correlation mapping optical coherence tomography
  • nonlinear dynamics
  • skin microvascular function
  • vasomotion
  • wavelet transform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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