Objectives. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a new optical imaging technique capable of providing cross-sectional imaging of tissue microstructure in vivo and in real time. OCT was used in the setting of the human prostate ex vivo, and the images acquired were compared with those obtained using standard histopathologic methods. Methods. Multiple samples (3 to 6) were obtained from the radical prostatectomy specimens of 7 men with clinically localized (T1c-2, NO, MO) adenocarcinoma of the prostate. These specimens were 1 cm in length and 1 mm × 1 mm in rectangular cross section. Specimens were first imaged using OCT and then embedded and stained in preparation for histopathologic evaluation. Co-registration of the images obtained using OCT and standard histopathologic evaluation provided the basis for comparison. Results. Structural architecture on the order of 50 to 150 μm within benign glandular epithelium, fibro-adipose tissue, and malignant glandular epithelium could be resolved to a depth of approximately 0.5 mm using OCT. Conclusions. Microscopic resolution is possible in human prostatic tissue using OCT. Further studies using this technique to improve the detection and staging of adenocarcinoma of the prostate are ongoing.
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