Interpreting inverse correlation time: From blood flow to vascular network


The inverse correlation time (ICT) is a key quantity in laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI) measurements. Traditionally, ICT is regarded as a metric of blood flow, such as speed or perfusion. However, we highlight that ICT not only contains important information about blood flow, but also reflects the underlying structure of the vascular network. In the past, ICT has been found to be correlated with vessel diameter. Here, we further report that ICT exhibits a different sensitivity to blood flow depending on vessel orientation. Specifically, ICT is more sensitive to blood flow speed changes in vessels descending from or arising to the tissue surface, compared with those laying parallel to the surface. Those findings shift our understanding of ICT from purely blood flow to a combination of blood flow and vascular network structure. We also develop theories to facilitate the study of vascular network’s impact on ICT.

Journal article
Optics Communications