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Technol Cancer Res Treat. 2005 Oct;4(5):471-82.

Spatial and spectral information in optical mammography.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tufts University, 4 Colby Street, Medford, MA 02155, USA.


This article reviews our research activities in the area of optical mammography and relates them to the historical developments and the current state and trends in the field. The guiding threads for this article are the roles played in optical mammography by spatial and spectral information. The first feature, spatial information, is limited by the diffusive nature of light propagation but can take advantage of the exceptionally high optical contrast featured by blood vessels and blood-rich areas in the breast. We describe a method to correct for edge effects, a spatial second-derivative algorithm, and a two-dimensional phased-array approach that enhance the image contrast, the spatial resolution, and the depth discrimination in optical mammograms. The second feature, spectral information, is the most powerful and unique capability of optical mammography, and allows for functional measurements associated with hemoglobin concentration and oxygenation, water concentration, lipids content, and the wavelength dependence of tissue scattering. We present oxygenation-index images obtained from multi-wavelength optical data that point to the diagnostic potential of oxygenation information in optical mammography. The optimization of the spatial and spectral information in optical mammography has the potential to create a role for this imaging modality in the detection and monitoring of breast cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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