Feasibility of transcranial photoacoustic imaging for interventional guidance of endonasal surgeries

Muyinatu A. Lediju Bell, Anastasia K. Ostrowski, Peter Kazanzides, Emad Boctor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Scopus citations


Endonasal surgeries to remove pituitary tumors incur the deadly risk of carotid artery injury due to limitations with real-time visualization of blood vessels surrounded by bone. We propose to use photoacoustic imaging to overcome current limitations. Blood vessels and surrounding bone would be illuminated by an optical fiber attached to the endonasal drill, while a transducer placed on the pterional region outside of the skull acquires images. To investigate feasibility, a plastisol phantom embedded with a spherical metal target was submerged in a water tank. The target was aligned with a 1-mm optical fiber coupled to a 1064nm Nd:YAG laser. An Ultrasonix L14-5W/60 linear transducer, placed approximately 1 cm above the phantom, acquired photoacoustic and ultrasound images of the target in the presence and absence of 2- and 4-mm-thick human adult cadaveric skull specimens. Though visualized at 18 mm depth when no bone was present, the target was not detectable in ultrasound images when the 4-mm thick skull specimen was placed between the transducer and phantom. In contrast, the target was visible in photoacoustic images at depths of 17-18 mm with and without the skull specimen. To mimic a clinical scenario where cranial bone in the nasal cavity reduces optical transmission prior to drill penetration, the 2-mm-thick specimen was placed between the phantom and optical fiber, while the 4-mm specimen remained between the phantom and transducer. In this case, the target was present at depths of 15-17 mm for energies ranging 9-18 mJ. With conventional delay-and-sum beamforming, the photoacoustic signal-tonoise ratios measured 15-18 dB and the contrast measured 5-13 dB. A short-lag spatial coherence beamformer was applied to increase signal contrast by 11-27 dB with similar values for SNR at most laser energies. Results are generally promising for photoacoustic-guided endonasal surgeries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhotons Plus Ultrasound
Subtitle of host publicationImaging and Sensing 2014
ISBN (Print)9780819498564
StatePublished - 2014
EventPhotons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2014 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 2 2014Feb 5 2014

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherPhotons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Endonasal tumor resection
  • Image-guided surgical navigation
  • Intraoperative imaging of neurovasculature
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Skull base surgery
  • Transcranial optoacoustic imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biomaterials


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