A new optical diagnostic tool being developed at Columbia University may help healthcare providers monitor one of the most serious complications of diabetes. The noninvasive technique —called dynamic diffuse optical tomography (DDOT) imaging—fires near-infrared light at parts of the body. That which is reflected back at the machine lets it map the concentration of hemoglobin in tissue over time.
This helps providers diagnose and monitor peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a narrowing of the arteries caused by plaque accumulation that restricts blood flow to extremities and increases a person’s risk for heart attack and stroke.
“We’ve successfully used DDOT to detect PAD in the lower extremities,” says Michael Khalil, a Ph.D. candidate working with the Columbia University team developing the technology. “One key reason why DDOT shows so much promise as a diagnostic and monitoring tool is that, unlike other methods, it can provide maps of oxy, deoxy and total hemoglobin concentration throughout the foot and identify problematic regions that require intervention.”