Hypoxia in the brain is a characteristic feature of focal cerebral ischemia and brain tumors, especially glioblastoma multiforme. In the case of ischemia, visualizing blood oxygenation in the brain could define the scope of ischemic damage. In glioblastoma, hypoxia has been associated with tumor growth and also with angiogenic and radiation resistance to therapy.
MSOT can monitor blood oxygenation in vivo through intact skin and skull. Pathological changes in blood oxygenation, such as those involved in ischemia and stroke, as well as changes related to apoptosis and necrosis following experimental lesions, can thus be visualized in vivo.