Real-time blood flow visualization using the graphics processing unit

Owen Yang, David Cuccia, Bernard Choi
University of California, Irvine, Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic, 1002 Health Sciences Road, Irvine, California 92612
Journal of Biomedical Optics, Vol. 16, No. 1. (2011), 016009


   title={Real-time blood flow visualization using the graphics processing unit},

   author={Yang, O. and Cuccia, D. and Choi, B.},

   journal={Journal of Biomedical Optics},






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Laser speckle imaging (LSI) is a technique in which coherent light incident on a surface produces a reflected speckle pattern that is related to the underlying movement of optical scatterers, such as red blood cells, indicating blood flow. Image-processing algorithms can be applied to produce speckle flow index (SFI) maps of relative blood flow. We present a novel algorithm that employs the NVIDIA Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) platform to perform laser speckle image processing on the graphics processing unit. Software written in C was integrated with CUDA and integrated into a LabVIEW Virtual Instrument (VI) that is interfaced with a monochrome CCD camera able to acquire high-resolution raw speckle images at nearly 10 fps. With the CUDA code integrated into the LabVIEW VI, the processing and display of SFI images were performed also at ~10 fps. We present three video examples depicting real-time flow imaging during a reactive hyperemia maneuver, with fluid flow through an in vitro phantom, and a demonstration of real-time LSI during laser surgery of a port wine stain birthmark.
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