Dynamic Optical Contrast Imaging (DOCi) is an imaging technique that generates image contrast through ratiometric measurements of the autouflorescence decay rates of aggregate uorophores in tissue. This method enables better tissue characterization by utilizing wide-field signal integration, eliminating constraints of uniform illumination, and reducing time-intensive computations that are bottlenecks in the clinical translation of traditional fluorescence lifetime imaging. Previous works have demonstrated remarkable tissue contrast between tissue types in clinical human pilot studies [Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery 157, 480 (2017)]. However, there are still challenges in the development of several subsystems, which results in existing works to use relative models. A comprehensive mathematical framework is presented to describe the contrast mechanism of the DOCi system to allow intraoperative quantitative imaging, which merits consideration for evaluation in measuring tissue characteristics in several important clinical settings.