Multispectral optoacoustic tomography of the human breast: characterisation of healthy tissue and malignant lesions using a hybrid ultrasound-optoacoustic approach
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Background and aim
Multispectral optoacoustic tomography (MSOT) represents a new in vivo imaging technique with high resolution (~250 μm) and tissue penetration (>1 cm) using the photoacoustic effect. While ultrasound contains anatomical information for lesion detection, MSOT provides functional information based on intrinsic tissue chromophores. We aimed to evaluate the feasibility of combined ultrasound/MSOT imaging of breast cancer in patients compared to healthy volunteers.
Imaging was performed using a handheld MSOT system for clinical use in healthy volunteers (n = 6) and representative patients with histologically confirmed invasive breast carcinoma (n = 5) and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS, n = 2). MSOT values for haemoglobin and oxygen saturation were assessed at 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 cm depth and selected wavelengths between 700 and 850 nm.
Reproducible signals were obtained in all wavelengths with consistent MSOT signals in superficial tissue in breasts of healthy individuals. In contrast, we found increased signals for haemoglobin in invasive carcinoma, suggesting a higher perfusion of the tumour and tumour environment. For DCIS, MSOT values showed only little variation compared to healthy tissue.
This preliminary MSOT breast imaging study provided stable, reproducible data on tissue composition and physiological properties, potentially enabling differentiation of solid malignant and healthy tissue.
• A handheld MSOT probe enables real-time molecular imaging of the breast.
• MSOT of healthy controls provides a reproducible reference for pathology identification.
• MSOT parameters allows for differentiation of invasive carcinoma and healthy tissue.
KeywordsMultispectral optoacoustic tomography Optoacoustic imaging Ultrasound In vivo imaging Breast cancer
Ductal carcinoma in situ
Magnetic resonance imaging
Multispectral optoacoustic tomography
Positron emission tomography
Region of interest
Reflection ultrasound computed tomography
Compliance with ethical standards
The scientific guarantor of this publication is Moritz Wildgruber.
Conflict of interest
The authors of this manuscript declare relationships with the following companies:
Jing Claussen and Steven J. Ford are employees of iThera Medical, a manufacturer of commercial optoacoustic scanners.
The authors state that this work has not received any funding.
Statistics and biometry
One of the authors has significant statistical expertise.
No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper.
Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects (patients) in this study.
Institutional Review Board approval was waived because scans were obtained during a pilot test series, which was covered under the Declaration of Helsinki §37 (‘individual healing research’)
• performed at one institution
- 3.Erickson-Bhatt SJ, Roman M, Gonzalez J, et al (2015) Noninvasive surface imaging of breast cancer in humans using a hand-held optical imager. Biomed Phys Eng Express 1(4). doi: 10.1088/2057-1976/1/4/045001