Using a polarization sensitive Michelson interferometer, we measure 2D images of optical birefringence in bovine tendon as a function of depth with a technique known as optical coherence tomography (OCT). Detection of the polarization state of the signal, formed by interference of backscattered light from the sample and a mirror in the reference arm, gives the optical phase delay between light that has propagated along the fast and slow axes of the birefringent tendon. Images showing the change in birefringence in response to laser irradiation are presented. The technique allows rapid non-contact investigation of tissue structural properties through 2D imaging of birefringence.© (1998) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.