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Phys Med Biol. 1999 Dec;44(12):2897-906.

Photon migration in non-scattering tissue and the effects on image reconstruction.

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Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering, University College London, UK.


Photon propagation in tissue can be calculated using the relationship described by the transport equation. For scattering tissue this relationship is often simplified and expressed in terms of the diffusion approximation. This approximation, however, is not valid for non-scattering regions, for example cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) below the skull. This study looks at the effects of a thin clear layer in a simple model representing the head and examines its effect on image reconstruction. Specifically, boundary photon intensities (total number of photons exiting at a point on the boundary due to a source input at another point on the boundary) are calculated using the transport equation and compared with data calculated using the diffusion approximation for both non scattering and scattering regions. The effect of non-scattering regions on the calculated boundary photon intensities is presented together with the advantages and restrictions of the transport code used. Reconstructed images are then presented where the forward problem is solved using the transport equation for a simple two-dimensional system containing a non-scattering ring and the inverse problem is solved using the diffusion approximation to the transport equation.

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