Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has the potential to reveal how blood flows in the brain during stroke, providing information that could someday guide new treatments and reduce stroke-induced damage to the brain.
Researchers at University of Washington (UW) used OCT to render high-resolution images and information about blood-flow dynamics over a broad region of the brain before, during, and after stroke-like states.
The researchers were able to evaluate vessel diameters, red-blood-cell velocity, and total blood-flow change across the area. In doing so, Ruikang Wang, Professor of Bioengineering and Ophthalmology at the UW, said they demonstrated a biologically initiated rescue mechanism in response to stroke.
“Active dilation of penetrating arterioles during stroke requires strong connections – anastomosis presence – and dilation and therefore blood flow fail in the areas farther away from an anastomosis. Abundance of anastomoses may prevent or delay permanent neural damage by supplying blood to penetrating arterioles and recovering rescuable tissue called penumbra.”