Improvements in real-time Doppler optical coherence tomography (DOCT), acquiring up to 32 frames per second at 250×512 pixels per image, are reported using signal processing techniques commonly employed in Doppler ultrasound imaging. The ability to measure a wide range of flow velocities, ranging from less than 20 µm/s to more than 10 cm/s, is demonstrated using an 1.3 µm DOCT system with flow phantoms in steady and pulsatile flow conditions. Based on full implementation of a coherent demodulator, four different modes of flow visualization are demonstrated: color Doppler, velocity variance, Doppler spectrum, and power Doppler. The performance of the former two, which are computationally suitable for real-time imaging, are analyzed in detail under various signal-to-noise and frame-rate conditions. The results serve as a guideline for choosing appropriate imaging parameters for detecting in vivo blood flow.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
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