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Guan Xu, Naheed Khan, Ahmed Almazroa, Mercy Pawar, Cagri Besirli, Yannis M. Paulus, Xueding Wang, Hakan Demirci; Safety Evaluation of Photoacoustic Tomography System for Intraocular Tumors. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2022;11(3):30. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.11.3.30.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) has demonstrated the ability to characterize molecular components and architectural heterogeneities of intraocular tumors in enucleated human globes and in animals in vivo. Although laser safety levels have been established for illumination through the cornea, the safety limit for PAT illumination through the sclera has not been investigated. The purpose of this study is to examine if the energy level used in intraocular PAT results in ocular damage.
Rabbit eyes were exposed to pulsed laser illumination at 20 mJ/cm2 at the scleral surface. Eyes were examined at 1, 7, and 28 days after the laser exposure. Examination procedures included white light and fluorescence fundus imaging, optical coherence tomography (OCT), electroretinography (ERG), and histology with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining as well as terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL staining).
Fundus imaging and OCT of rabbit eyes at 1, 7, and 28 days following exposure of the laser illumination of the PAT system did not reveal any damage to the retinal structures. ERG showed no significant difference between the experimental and control eyes. Similarly, H&E histology did not show abnormalities in either the scleral tissue where the laser illumination was delivered or in the retinal layers. No sign of apoptosis in the layers of the retina, choroid, or optic nerve was found on TUNEL staining.
Similar to the application of PAT to other organs, the proposed laser illumination energy level at 20 mJ/cm2 does not impose detectable harm to the ocular tissue.
This study addresses illumination safety issues for PAT.
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