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Cancer Watch

Spatial and Spectral Information in Optical Mammography (p. 471-482)

This article reviews our research activities in the area of optical mammography and relates them to the historical developments and the current state and trends in the field. The guiding threads for this article are the roles played in optical mammography by spatial and spectral information. The first feature, spatial information, is limited by the diffusive nature of light propagation but can take advantage of the exceptionally high optical contrast featured by blood vessels and blood-rich areas in the breast. We describe a method to correct for edge effects, a spatial second-derivative algorithm, and a two-dimensional phased-array approach that enhance the image contrast, the spatial resolution, and the depth discrimination in optical mammograms. The second feature, spectral information, is the most powerful and unique capability of optical mammography, and allows for functional measurements associated with hemoglobin concentration and oxygenation, water concentration, lipids content, and the wavelength dependence of tissue scattering. We present oxygenation-index images obtained from multi-wavelength optical data that point to the diagnostic potential of oxygenation information in optical mammography. The optimization of the spatial and spectral information in optical mammography has the potential to create a role for this imaging modality in the detection and monitoring of breast cancer.

Key words: Optical mammography; Diffuse optical imaging; Near-infrared spectroscopy; Frequency-domain; Breast cancer; and Oxygenation.

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TCRT October 2005

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Volume 4
No. 5 (p 455-582)
October 2005
ISSN 1533-0338

Sergio Fantini, Ph.D.*
Erica L. Heffer, Ph.D.a
Vivian E. Pera, M.S.a
Angelo Sassaroli, Ph.D.
Ning Liu, M.S.

Department of Biomedical Engineering
Tufts University
4 Colby Street
Medford, MA 02155, USA

aCurrent Affiliation:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory
244 Wood Street
Lexington, MA 02420-9108, USA