Cancer is known to alter the local optical properties of tissues. The detection of OCT-based optical attenuation provides a quantitative method to efficiently differentiate cancer from non-cancer tissues. In particular, the intraoperative use of quantitative OCT is able to provide a direct visual guidance in real time for accurate identification of cancer tissues, especially these without any obvious structural layers, such as brain cancer. However, current methods are suboptimal in providing high-speed and accurate OCT attenuation mapping for intraoperative brain cancer detection. In this paper, we report a novel frequency-domain (FD) algorithm to enable robust and fast characterization of optical attenuation as derived from OCT intensity images. The performance of this FD algorithm was compared with traditional fitting methods by analyzing datasets containing images from freshly resected human brain cancer and from a silica phantom acquired by a 1310 nm swept-source OCT (SS-OCT) system. With graphics processing unit (GPU)-based CUDA C/C++ implementation, this new attenuation mapping algorithm can offer robust and accurate quantitative interpretation of OCT images in real time during brain surgery.
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