Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the possible clinical application of optical coherence tomography for assessing ovarian reserve in individual specimens of human ovarian tissue for fertility preservation. Methods: Ovarian tissue examination by optical coherence tomography was performed before ovarian tissue cryopreservation. Three of the four subjects had hematological disease or cancer, and they faced a threat to their fertility due to impending chemotherapy. One patient underwent ovarian tissue extraction for in vitro activation of dormant follicles as fertility treatment. Results: The current full-field optical coherence tomography technique can detect primordial follicles in non-fixed and non-embedded human ovarian tissue. These images are well correlated with histological evaluation and the ovarian reserve test, including follicle counts. Conclusion: It was demonstrated that optical coherence tomography could assess localization of primordial follicles and ovarian reserve in specimens of non-fixed human ovarian cortex, although optimization for examination of human ovarian tissue is needed for clinical application. Additionally, this technique holds the possibility of assessing the ovarian reserve of patients with unevaluable ovarian reserve. Trial registration number: UMIN000023141.
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