Abstract

We study the major factors causing degradation in the lateral resolution of gradient-index-lens-based catheters used for high-resolution optical coherence tomography. Chromatic aberration and astigmatism were taken into account in the propagation of broadband single-mode Gaussian beams through the catheter geometry. It was found that, while chromatic aberration did not preclude achieving high resolution, astigmatism posed a major technical difficulty, because its correction requires a very sensitive adjustment of parameters, especially for catheters with long working distances.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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