Rapid, noninvasive quantitation of skin disease in systemic sclerosis using optical coherence elastography

Yong Du, Chih Hao Liu, Ling Lei, Manmohan Singh, Jiasong Li, M. John Hicks, Kirill V. Larin, Chandra Mohan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a connective tissue disease that results in excessive accumulation of collagen in the skin and internal organs. Overall, SSc has a rare morbidity (276 cases per million adults in the United States), but has a 10-year survival rate of 55%. Currently, the modified Rodnan skin score (mRSS) is assessed by palpation on 17 sites on the body. However, the mRSS assessed score is subjective and may be influenced by the experience of the rheumatologists. In addition, the inherent elasticity of skin may bias the mRSS assessment in the early stage of SSc, such as oedematous. Optical coherence elastography (OCE) is a rapidly emerging technique, which can assess mechanical contrast in tissues with micrometer spatial resolution. In this work, the OCE technique is applied to assess the mechanical properties of skin in both control and bleomycin (BLM) induced SSc-like disease noninvasively. Young's modulus of the BLM-SSc skin was found be significantly higher than that of normal skin, in both the in vivo and in vitro studies (p<0.05). Thus, OCE is able to differentiate healthy and fibrotic skin using mechanical contrast. It is a promising new technology for quantifying skin involvement in SSc in a rapid, unbiased, and noninvasive manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number046002
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 30 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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