The potential of optical coherence tomography for diagnosing meniscal pathology Academic Article uri icon


  • Meniscal tears are often associated with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and may lead to pain and discomfort in humans. Maximal preservation of meniscal tissue is highly desirable to mitigate the progression of osteoarthritis. Guidelines of which meniscal tears are amenable to repair and what part of damaged tissues should be removed are elusive and lacking consensus. Images of microstructural changes in meniscus would potentially guide the surgeons to manage the meniscal tears better, but the resolution of current diagnostic techniques is limited for this application. In this study, we demonstrated the feasibility of using optical coherence tomography (OCT) for the diagnosis of meniscal pathology. Torn medial menisci were collected from dogs with ACL insufficiency. The torn meniscus was divided into three tissue samples and scanned by OCT and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). OCT and SEM images of torn menisci were compared. Each sample was evaluated for gross and microstructural abnormalities and reduction or loss of birefringence from the OCT images. The abnormalities detected with OCT were described for each type of tear. OCT holds promise in non-destructive and fast assessment of microstructural changes and tissue birefringence of meniscal tears. Future development of intraoperative OCT may help surgeons in the decision making of meniscal treatment. 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.

published proceedings

  • Measurement Science and Technology

author list (cited authors)

  • Ling, C., Pozzi, A., Thieman, K. M., Tonks, C. A., Guo, S., Xie, H., & Horodyski, M.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Ling, Carrie Hang-Yin||Pozzi, Antonio||Thieman, Kelley M||Tonks, Catherine A||Guo, Shuguang||Xie, Huikai||Horodyski, MaryBeth

publication date

  • January 2010