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Phys Med Biol. 2005 Jun 7;50(11):2429-49. Epub 2005 May 18.

Time-domain scanning optical mammography: I. Recording and assessment of mammograms of 154 patients.

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Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Abbestrasse 2-12, 10587 Berlin, Germany.


Using a triple wavelength (670 nm, 785 nm, 843/884 nm) scanning laser-pulse mammograph we recorded craniocaudal and mediolateral projection optical mammograms of 154 patients, suspected of having breast cancer. From distributions of times of flight of photons recorded at typically 1000-2000 scan positions, optical mammograms were derived displaying (inverse) photon counts in selected time windows, absorption and reduced scattering coefficients or total haemoglobin concentration and blood oxygen saturation. Optical mammograms were analysed by comparing them with x-ray and MR mammograms, including results of histopathology, attributing a subjective visibility score to each tumour assessed. Out of 102 histologically confirmed tumours, 72 tumours were detected retrospectively in both optical projection mammograms, in addition 20 cases in one projection only, whereas 10 tumours were not detectable in any projection. Tumour contrast and contrast-to-noise ratios of mammograms of the same breast, but derived from measured DTOFs by various methods were quantitatively compared. On average, inverse photon counts in selected time windows, including total photon counts, provide highest tumour contrast and contrast-to-noise ratios. Based on the results of the present study we developed a multi-wavelength, multi-projection scanning time-domain optical mammograph with improved spectral and spatial (angular) sampling, that allows us to record entire mammograms simultaneously at various offsets between the transmitting fibre and receiving fibre bundle and provides first results for illustration.

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