Multi-spectral imaging shows promise for improving uterine transplant surgery

Future Science Group (FSG) today announced the publication of an article in Future Science OA demonstrating the first use of multispectral imaging in gynecology, in a uterine transplant setting.

Uterine transplantation aims to remedy absolute uterine factor infertility, or the absence of a womb, allowing pregnancy. The first reported successful pregnancy following uterine transplantation was in 2014.

Currently, there is an absence of real-time, functional and molecular data during, pre- and post-surgery. This is particularly apparent in uterine transplants where there is a need to assess the level of ischemia and reperfusion injury during and post-transplantation, and prior to any potential pregnancy.

"We wanted to explore avenues that may potentially be better at evaluating tissue and organ perfusion than existing methods," commented Srdjan Saso (Imperial College London, UK). "Multi-spectral imaging (MSI), an example of biomedical photonics, proved effective at giving us a real-time, spatial picture of graft perfusion and therefore tissue viability."

Biomedical photonics is able to process data concerning hemoglobin concentration and oxygen saturation in a noninvasive manner in real time. The study compared two photonic applications using animal models: pulse oximetry and MSI. MSI was able to map oxygen saturation over the entire graft, demonstrating advantages over pulse oximetry and showing promise for use in humans.

"The ability to obtain such results using MSI will allow the surgical team to act appropriately during pelvic surgery and most importantly intra-operatively in order to rectify any issues," explained Saso. MSI therefore has the potential to become an effective tool in transplant surgery.

"[Our] next goal is to evaluate the effect of hypo-oxygenation on long-term organ function. We will evaluate uterine viability with various functional long-term variables to confirm the utility of MSI," he concluded.

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