Optical tomographic imaging of the hemodynamic response to a breath hold in breast cancer patients

Molly L. Flexman, Michael A. Khalil, Rabah M. Al Abdi, Beatriu Reig, Christopher J. Fong, Dawn Hershman, Elise Desperito, Randall L. Barbour, Andreas H. Hielscher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Continuous wave optical tomography is non-ionizing, uses endogenous contrast, and can be performed quickly and at low cost which makes it a suitable imaging modality for breast cancer screening. Using multiple wavelengths of light to illuminate the breast at various angles, three-dimensional images of the distribution of chromophores such as oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin can help identify cancerous tissue. Dynamic optical imaging can provide additional insight into cancer characteristics such as angiogenesis and metabolism. Here we present the first clinical data acquired with our novel digital breast imaging system. This system is based upon a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) architecture that leverages the immediate digitization of acquired analog data to reduce noise and quickly process large amounts of data. Employing this new instrument we have investigated the dynamic changes due to a breath hold and its potential for use in breast cancer screening. Over the course of a breath hold, images have been collected simultaneously from both breasts at a rate of 1.7 frames per second with 32 sources and 64 detectors per breast and four wavelengths of light at 765, 805, 827, and 905nm. Initial results involving one healthy volunteer and one breast cancer patient support the potential use of dynamic imaging for breast cancer detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptical Tomography and Spectroscopy of Tissue IX
StatePublished - 2011
EventOptical Tomography and Spectroscopy of Tissue IX - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 23 2011Jan 26 2011

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceOptical Tomography and Spectroscopy of Tissue IX
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Optical tomography
  • breast cancer
  • breath hold
  • digital signal processing
  • dynamic imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biomaterials


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