In recent years near-infrared optical tomographic imaging (OTI) has made big strides towards becoming a clinically relevant medical imaging modality. Imaging of dynamic changes in blood parameters, functional brain imaging, and breast imaging are the most advanced areas of application of this novel technique. In this study we focus on difficulties that are encountered when OTI is employed for imaging tissues that contain fluid-filled regions. Examples of such tissues are the brain, which contains low scattering cerebrospinal fluids, joints, which enclose translucent synovial fluids, and the maternal abdomen, which is filled with amniotic fluid. In these cases widely accepted image reconstruction schemes that rely on the diffusion approximation have limited applicability, and more advanced model-based iterative image reconstructions methods that make use of the equation of radiative transfer promise more accurate results.