Quantification of total haemoglobin concentrations in human whole blood by spectroscopic visible-light optical coherence tomography

Colin Veenstra, Saskia Kruitwagen, Dafne Groener, Wilma Petersen, Wiendelt Steenbergen, Nienke Bosschaart*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The non-invasive quantification of total haemoglobin concentrations [tHb] is highly desired for the assessment of haematologic disorders in vulnerable patient groups, but invasive blood sampling is still the gold standard in current clinical practice. This work demonstrates the potential of visible-light spectroscopic optical coherence tomography (sOCT) for quantifying the [tHb] in human whole blood. To accurately quantify the [tHb] from the substantial optical attenuation by blood in the visible wavelength range, we used a combination of zero-delay acquisition and focus tracking that ensures optimal system sensitivity at any depth inside the sample. Subsequently, we developed an analysis model to adequately correct for the high scattering contribution by red blood cells to the sOCT signal. We validate our method and compare it to conventional sOCT (without focus tracking and zero-delay acquisition) through ex-vivo measurements on flowing human whole blood, with [tHb] values in the clinical range of 7–23 g/dL. For our method with optimized sensitivity, the measured and expected values correlate well (Pearson correlation coefficient = 0.89, p < 0.01), with a precision of 3.8 g/dL. This is a considerable improvement compared to conventional sOCT (Pearson correlation coefficient = 0.59, p = 0.16; precision of 9.1 g/dL).

Original languageEnglish
Article number15115
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2019


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