Analytical and numerical models for describing and understanding the light propagation in samples imaged by optical coherence tomography (OCT) systems are presented. An analytical model for calculating the OCT signal based on the extended Huygens–Fresnel principle valid both for the single and multiple scattering regimes is reviewed. An advanced Monte Carlo model for calculating the OCT signal is also reviewed, and the validity of this model is shown through a mathematical proof based on the extended Huygens–Fresnel principle. Moreover, for the first time the model is verified experimentally. From the analytical model, an algorithm for enhancing OCT images is developed; the so-called true-reflection algorithm in which the OCT signal may be corrected for the attenuation caused by scattering. For the first time, the algorithm is demonstrated by using the Monte Carlo model as a numerical tissue phantom. Such algorithm holds promise for improving OCT imagery and to extend the possibility for functional imaging.
Physics in Medicine and Biology, 2004, Vol 49, Issue 7, p. 1307-1327