Influences of tissue absorption and scattering on diffuse correlation spectroscopy blood flow measurements

Daniel Irwin, Lixin Dong, Yu Shang, Ran Cheng, Mahesh Kudrimoti, Scott D. Stevens, Guoqiang Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


In this study we evaluate the influences of optical property assumptions on near-infrared diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) flow index measurements. The optical properties, absorption coefficient (μa) and reduced scattering coefficient (μs′), are independently varied using liquid phantoms and measured concurrently with the flow index using a hybrid optical system combining a dual-wavelength DCS flow device with a commercial frequency-domain tissue-oximeter. DCS flow indices are calculated at two wavelengths (785 and 830 nm) using measured μa and μs′ or assumed constant μa and μs′. Inaccurate μs′ assumptions resulted in much greater flow index errors than inaccurate μa. Underestimated/overestimated μs′ from -35%/+175% lead to flow index errors of +110%/-80%, whereas underestimated/overestimated μa from -40%/+150% lead to -20%/+40%, regardless of the wavelengths used. Examination of a clinical study involving human head and neck tumors indicates up to +280% flow index errors resulted from inter-patient optical property variations. These findings suggest that studies involving significant μa and μs′ changes should concurrently measure flow index and optical properties for accurate extraction of blood flow information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1969-1985
Number of pages17
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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