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Med Phys. 2003 Feb;30(2):235-47.

Three-dimensional diffuse optical tomography in the parallel plane transmission geometry: evaluation of a hybrid frequency domain/continuous wave clinical system for breast imaging.

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Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6396, USA.


Three-dimensional diffuse optical tomography (DOT) of breast requires large data sets for even modest resolution (1 cm). We present a hybrid DOT system that combines a limited number of frequency domain (FD) measurements with a large set of continuous wave (cw) measurements. The FD measurements are used to quantitatively determine tissue averaged absorption and scattering coefficients. The larger cw data sets (10(5) measurements) collected with a lens coupled CCD, permit 3D DOT reconstructions of a 1-liter tissue volume. To address the computational complexity of large data sets and 3D volumes we employ finite difference based reconstructions computed in parallel. Tissue phantom measurements evaluate imaging performance. The tests include the following: point spread function measures of resolution, characterization of the size and contrast of single objects, field of view measurements and spectral characterization of constituent concentrations. We also report in vivo measurements. Average tissue optical properties of a healthy breast are used to deduce oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin concentrations. Differential imaging with a tumor simulating target adhered to the surface of a healthy breast evaluates the influence of physiologic fluctuations on image noise. This tomography system provides robust, quantitative, full 3D image reconstructions with the advantages of high data throughput, single detector-tissue coupling path, and large (1L) imaging domains. In addition, we find that point spread function measurements provide a useful and comprehensive representation of system performance.

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