AIM: To assess each layer of the optical coherence tomography (OCT) image of the esophageal wall with reference to the histological structure. METHODS: Resected specimens of fresh pig esophagus was used as a model for the esophageal wall. We injected cyanoacrylate adhesive into the specimens to create a marker, and scanned them using a miniature OCT probe. The localization of these markers was assessed in the OCT images. Then we compared the OCT-imaged morphology with the corresponding histological section, guided by the cyanoacrylate adhesive markers. We prepared a second set of experiments using nylon sutures as markers. RESULTS: The OCT image of the esophageal specimen has a clear five-layered morphology. First, it consisted of a relatively less reflective layer; second, a more reflective layer; third, a less reflective layer; fourth, a more reflective layer; and fifth, a less reflective layer. Comparing the OCT images with marked histological sections showed that the first layer corresponded to stratified squamous epithelium; the second to lamina propria; the third to muscularis mucosa; fourth, submucosa; and fifth, muscularis propria with deeper structures of the esophageal wall. CONCLUSION: We demonstrated that the OCT image of the normal esophageal wall showed a five-layered morphology, which corresponds to histological esophageal wall components.
- Endoscopic ultrasonography
- Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
- Muscularis mucosa
- Optical coherence tomography
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