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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 44, Iss. 10 — Apr. 1, 2005
  • pp: 1870–1878

Effects of refractive index on near-infrared tomography of the breast

Hamid Dehghani, Ben A. Brooksby, Brian W. Pogue, and Keith D. Paulsen  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 44, Issue 10, pp. 1870-1878 (2005)

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Near infrared (NIR) optical tomography is an imaging technique in which internal images of optical properties are reconstructed with the boundary measurements of light propagation through the medium. Recent advances in instrumentation and theory have led to the use of this method for the detection and characterization of tumors within the female breast tissue. Most image reconstruction approaches have used the diffusion approximation and have assumed that the refractive index of the breast is constant, with a bulk value of approximately 1.4. We have applied a previously reported modified diffusion approximation, in which the refractive index for different tissues can be modeled. The model was used to generate NIR data from a realistic breast geometry containing a localized anomaly. Using this simulated data, we have reconstructed optical images, both with and without correct knowledge of the refractive-index distribution to show that the modified diffusion approximation can accurately recover the anomaly given a priori knowledge of refractive index. But using a reconstruction algorithm without the use of correct a priori information regarding the refractive-index distribution is shown as recovering the anomaly but with a degraded quality, depending on the degree of refractive index mismatch. The results suggest that provided the refractive index of breast tissue is approximately 1.3–1.4, their exclusion will have minimal effect on the reconstructed images.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(170.3010) Medical optics and biotechnology : Image reconstruction techniques
(170.3830) Medical optics and biotechnology : Mammography
(170.6960) Medical optics and biotechnology : Tomography

Original Manuscript: July 26, 2004
Revised Manuscript: November 9, 2004
Manuscript Accepted: November 17, 2004
Published: April 1, 2005

Hamid Dehghani, Ben A. Brooksby, Brian W. Pogue, and Keith D. Paulsen, "Effects of refractive index on near-infrared tomography of the breast," Appl. Opt. 44, 1870-1878 (2005)

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