, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 147-162
Date: 27 Mar 2008

Detection and characterization of breast tumours by time-domain scanning optical mammography

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The paper gives a short overview of various methods of optical mammography, emphasizing scanning time-domain mammography. The results of a clinical study on time-domain optical mammography are reviewed, comprising 154 patients carrying a total of 102 carcinomas validated by histology. A visibility score attributed to each carcinoma as qualitative measure of tumour detectability indicates acceptable sensitivity but poor specificity for discrimination between malignant and benign lesions. Likewise, a multi-variate statistical analysis yields sensitivity and specificity between 80% and 85% for tumour detection and discrimination with respect to normal (healthy) breast tissue, but values less than 70% for discrimination between malignant and benign breast lesions, being too low to be of clinical relevance. For 87 of the 88 tumours detected retrospectively in both projection optical mammograms, optical properties and tissue parameters were derived based on the diffraction of photon density waves by a spherical inhomogeneity as forward model. Following injection of a bolus of indocyanine green as non-targeted absorbing contrast agent, dynamic contrast-enhanced time-domain optical mammography was carried out on a small number of patients, but no differences in wash-out kinetics of indocyanine green between tumours and healthy breast tissue were observed.