Cross-sectional OCT imaging within the superior sagittal sinus. Large draining cortical veins can be observed entering the sinus (light blue arrow) with multiple adjacent dural arteries visible (green arrows), along with adjacent cortical veins outside the sinus lumen (yellow arrows). Small red thrombi (red arrows) are also visible in certain sections, either free-floating or attached to the sinus wall. The white asterisk is the OCT lens, and the yellow asterisk is the artifact from the wire. White bars = 2 mm.

Imaging of the cerebral venous sinuses has evolved Substantially during the past 2 decades, and most recently intravascular sinus imaging with sonography has shed light on the pathophysiology of sinus thrombosis and intracranial hypertension. Optical coherence tomography is the highest resolution intravascular imaging technique available but has not been previously used in cerebral sinus imaging. The purpose of this study was to develop a preclinical animal model of endovascular optical coherence tomography cerebral venous sinus imaging and compare optical coherence tomography findings with histology.


Four consecutive Yorkshire swine were selected. The superior sagittal sinus was first catheterized with a microwire, and the optical coherence tomography catheter was delivered via a monorail technique into the sinus. Luminal blood was cleared with a single arterial injection. After structural and Doppler optical coherence tomography imaging, a craniotomy was performed and the sinus and adjacent dura/veins were resected. Bland-Altman analysis was performed to compare optical coherence tomography and histology.


Technically successful optical coherence tomography images were obtained in 3 of 4 swine. The luminal environment and visualization of dural arteries and draining cortical veins were characterized. The average maximum diameters of the sinus, dural arteries, and cortical veins were 3.14 mm, 135 µm, and 260 µm, respectively. Bland-Altman analysis demonstrated good agreement between histology and optical coherence tomography images.


Endovascular optical coherence tomography imaging was feasible in this preclinical animal study. Adoption of this imaging technique in the human cerebral venous sinus could aid in the diagnosis, treatment, and understanding of the pathophysiology of various diseases of the sinus. Human safety and feasibility studies are needed.

Read this article: https://bit.ly/2XubIHi


Jeffrey Ross

• Mayo Clinic, Phoenix

Dr. Jeffrey S. Ross is a Professor of Radiology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and practices neuroradiology at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona. His publications include over 100 peer-reviewed articles, nearly 60 non-refereed articles, 33 book chapters, and 10 books. He was an AJNR Senior Editor from 2006-2015, is a member of the editorial board for 3 other journals, and a manuscript reviewer for 10 journals. He became Editor-in-Chief of the AJNR in July 2015. He received the Gold Medal Award from the ASSR in 2013.

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