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Invest Radiol. 2011 Nov;46(11):697-704. doi: 10.1097/RLI.0b013e318229ff25.

Near-infrared imaging of the breast using omocianine as a fluorescent dye: results of a placebo-controlled, clinical, multicenter trial.

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Department of Radiology, Campus Charité Virchow Klinikum, Berlin, Germany.



To evaluate the efficacy of the near-infrared (NIR) dye Omocianine in a placebo-controlled, dose-escalating multicenter trial for the detection of malignant breast lesions by using a NIR imaging system.


The study was approved by the ethical review board of Berlin and Münster,, and all participants provided written informed consent. Fifty-two consecutive patients were examined with NIR imaging before, during, and after intravenous injection of Omocianine. Three-dimensional absorption and fluorescence diffuse optical tomography scans were recorded simultaneously on a prototype NIR imaging unit (Computed Tomography Laser Mammography, Imaging Diagnostic Systems, Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, FL). Two readers assessed the images in consensus and assigned visibility scores to lesions seen on the absorption and absorption-corrected fluorescence diffuse optical tomography mammograms. Imaging results were compared with histopathologic findings. To analyze whether lesion detection rate for malignant lesions depended on the size of the lesion, lesions were dichotomized into those measuring less than 20 mm and those measuring 20 mm or more. Moreover, the shortest diameter between the center of the target lesions and the skin was measured on axial optical mammography data.


There were a total of 53 target lesions. Histopathologically, 22 target lesions were diagnosed as benign and 31 target lesions as malignant. In the absorption mode, a detection rate of 11.8% for benign and 44.4% for malignant lesions across all dose groups was found. In the fluorescence mode, a detection rate of 17.6% was revealed for benign and 55.6% for malignant lesions across all dose groups. For dose group 0.1 mg/kg, a detection rate of 100% was found for malignant lesions in the fluorescence mode and 71.4% in the absorption mode. Across all dose groups in the fluorescence mode, detection rate for malignant target lesions in breasts smaller than the median axial breast diameter of 12.8 cm was higher with 69.2% than in median diameters ≥ 12.8 cm with 46.2%. Omocianine-enhanced fluorescence optical mammography allowed a better detection of more superficially located lesions, with detection rates for a lesion-skin distance <20 mm of 63.6%, for <30 mm of 47.4% and for ≥ 30 mm of 25%. Malignant target lesions with a diameter ≥ 20 mm were slightly better detected with 61.5% in contrast to suspicious lesions <20 mm with 53.8%. Optimal imaging time points varied strongly among the different target lesions and Omocianine dose groups, with a mean optimal time point for malignant lesions at 188 ± 385 minutes.


Preliminary data suggest that fluorescence imaging after Omocianine administration has the potential to detect malignant breast lesions. As our study showed considerable variations in the detection of breast cancer at different fluorophore concentrations ranging from 20% to 100%, future work needs to be done to assess the suitable dose for NIR imaging.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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