Abstract

Color Doppler optical coherence tomography (CDOCT) is a recent innovation that allows spatially localized flow-velocity mapping simultaneously with microstructural imaging. We present a theoretical model for velocity-image formation in CDOCT. The proportionality between the heterodyne detector current Doppler power spectrum in CDOCT and the optical source power spectrum is established. We show that stochastic modifications of the Doppler spectrum by fluctuating scatterer distributions in the flow field give rise to unavoidable velocity-estimation inaccuracies as well as to a fundamental trade-off between image-acquisition rate and velocity precision. Novel algorithms that permit high-fidelity depth-resolved measurements of velocities in turbid media are also reported.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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