We developed a new algorithm that fits optical coherence tomography (OCT) signals as a function of depth to a general theoretical OCT model which takes into account multiple scattering effects. With use of this algorithm, it was possible to extract both the scattering coefficient and anisotropy factor from a particular region of interest in an OCT image. The extraction algorithm was evaluated against measurements from an integrating sphere on a set of tissue phantoms and yielded valid results. Finally, a preliminary ex vivo OCT investigation on human aortic specimen indicated that the algorithm may contribute importantly to differentiation between normal and atherosclerotic arteries. We conclude that this algorithm may facilitate tissue characterization by OCT.