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Phys Med Biol. 2010 Dec 21;55(24):7587-96. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/55/24/013. Epub 2010 Nov 19.

Terahertz spectroscopy of liver cirrhosis: investigating the origin of contrast.

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Department of Electronic Engineering, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.


We have previously demonstrated that terahertz pulsed imaging is able to distinguish between rat tissues from different healthy organs. In this paper we report our measurements of healthy and cirrhotic liver tissues using terahertz reflection spectroscopy. The water content of the fresh tissue samples was also measured in order to investigate the correlations between the terahertz properties, water content, structural changes and cirrhosis. Finally, the samples were fixed in formalin to determine whether water was the sole source of image contrast in this study. We found that the cirrhotic tissue had a higher water content and absorption coefficient than the normal tissue and that even after formalin fixing there were significant differences between the normal and cirrhotic tissues' terahertz properties. Our results show that terahertz pulsed imaging can distinguish between healthy and diseased tissue due to differences in absorption originating from both water content and tissue structure.

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