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Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 13, Iss. 21 — Oct. 17, 2005
  • pp: 8571–8583
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In-vivo tissue optical properties derived by linear perturbation theory for edge-corrected time-domain mammograms

B. Wassermann, A. Kummrow, K.T. Moesta, D. Grosenick, J. Mucke, H. Wabnitz, M. MÖller, R. Macdonald, P. M. Schlag, and H. Rinneberg.  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 13, Issue 21, pp. 8571-8583 (2005)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OPEX.13.008571


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Abstract

A valuable method is described to analyze time-domain optical mammograms measured in the slab-like geometry of the slightly compressed female breast with a method based on linear perturbation theory including edge correction. Perturbations in scattering and absorption coefficients were mapped applying a computationally efficient point model.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

1. Introduction

Non-invasive medical imaging is needed for early detection of breast cancer. Presently the “gold standard” for screening is x-ray mammography. Other imaging modalities, like optical mammography, are investigated for their diagnostic ability, to improve acceptance by not using ionizing radiation, and to reduce costs. When using continuous light the fundamental problem of optical mammography is the inability to separate scattering and absorption features resulting in blurred images [1

1 . E.B. de Haller , “ Time-resolved transillumination and optical tomography ,” J. Biomed. Opt. 1 , 7 – 17 ( 1996 ). [CrossRef]

]. In the past decade frequency domain and time-resolved techniques have been developed, to overcome this limitation [2–16

2 . G. Mitic , J. KÖlzer , J. Otto , E. Plies , G. SÖlkner , and W. Zinth , “ Time-gated transillumination, of biological tissues and tissuelike phantoms ,” Appl. Opt. 33 , 6699 – 6710 ( 1994 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Optical mammography has the potential to derive relevant physiological information, such as hemoglobin concentration, blood oxygenation, water and fat content, from the spatial distributions of the absorption coefficients measured at various selected near-infrared wavelengths.

In tomographic arrangements of source and detector positions the optical measurements can be analyzed for an approximate reconstruction of the said spatial distributions [17–19

17 . B.W. Pogue , T.O. McBride , U.L. Osterberg , and K. Paulsen , “ Comparison of imaging geometries for diffuse optical tomography of tissue ,” Opt. Express 4 , 270 – 286 ( 1999 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Alternatively, prior knowledge from other imaging modalities like e.g. MRI can be used for that purpose [20

20 . V. Ntziachristos , A.G. Yodh , M. Schnall , and B. Chance , “ Concurrent MRI and diffuse optical tomography of breast after indocyanine green enhancement ,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 97 , 2767 – 2772 ( 2000 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 21

21 . B. Brooksby , S. Jiang , H. Dehghani , B.W. Pogue , K.D. Paulsen , C. Kogel , M. Doyley , J.B. Weaver , and S.P. Poplack , “ Magnetic resonance-guided near-infrared tomography of the breast ,” Rev. Sci. Instr. 75 , 5262 – 5270 ( 2004 ). [CrossRef]

]. In contrast, scanning a compressed breast in parallel-plane geometry yields projection images that can be compared for instance with x-ray mammograms without the need of time-consuming reconstruction algorithms [9

9 . D. Grosenick , H. Wabnitz , H.H. Rinneberg , K.T. Moesta , and P.M Schlag , “ Development of a time-domain optical mammograph and first in-vivo applications ,” Appl. Opt. 38 , 2927 – 2943 ( 1999 ). [CrossRef]

,13

13 . A. Pifferi , P. Taroni , A. Toricelli , F. Messina , and R. Cubeddu , “ Four-wavelength, time-resolved optical mammography in the 680-980 nm range ,” Opt. Lett. 28 , 1138 – 1140 ( 2003 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Present models used to analyze such mammograms consider the lesion of interest as being imbedded in an otherwise optically homogeneous tissue slab [12

12 . D. Grosenick , K.T. Moesta , H. Wabnitz , J. Mucke , C. Stroszcynski , R. Macdonald , P.M. Schlag , and H.H. Rinneberg , “ Time-domain optical mammography: initial clinical results on detection and characterization of breast tumors ,” Appl. Opt. 42 , 3170 – 3186 ( 2003 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

,22–24

22 . A. Torricelli , L. Spinelli , A. Pifferi , P. Taroni , and R. Cubeddu , “ Use of nonlinear perturbation approach for in-vivo breast lesion characterization by multiwavelength time-resolved optical mammography ,” Opt. Exp. 11 , 853 – 867 ( 2003 ). [CrossRef]

]. In the present paper we employ perturbational calculations to derive the difference between the optical properties of the lesion from the surrounding tissue slab (Fig. 1).

Fig 1. Geometry for perturbation analysis. In our calculations a sphere is assumed although arbitrary shapes can be considered as well. The point model accounts only for the influence of a perturbation in the center of the sphere with radius 10 mm. The full calculation accounts for the whole volume V of the lesion (black area).

Perturbation theory was reported by several authors as a valuable tool to derive optical properties of a given tumor [25–28

25 . S.R. Arridge , P. van der Zee , M. Cope , and D.T Delpy , “ Reconstruction methods for infra-red absorption imaging ,” in Proc. SPIE vol. 1431 , “ Time resolved Spectroscopy and Imaging of Tissues ,” 204 – 215 ( 1991 ). [CrossRef]

]. Early work covered forward calculations that were compared with experimental data on phantoms and Monte-Carlo calculations, considering an infinite slab of tissue. Though the slab geometry is a reasonable approximation for a slightly compressed breast, specific corrections and assumptions have to be made to apply perturbation theory to derive maps of optical properties from in-vivo measurements. For instance, the finite size of the breast leads to lateral photon losses close to the edge of the breast, besides higher transmittance because of its reduced thickness. Such edge effects influence the measurement in a substantial part of the optical mammogram. The edge corrections introduced in the following will not only allow to generate maps of optical properties as a complete mammogram, but will also provide guidelines to modify the data analysis for calculating optical properties of lesions in the peripheral part of the optical mammogram. Our correction method is similar to that already tested successfully on the homogeneous slab model [9

9 . D. Grosenick , H. Wabnitz , H.H. Rinneberg , K.T. Moesta , and P.M Schlag , “ Development of a time-domain optical mammograph and first in-vivo applications ,” Appl. Opt. 38 , 2927 – 2943 ( 1999 ). [CrossRef]

]. In addition, a procedure to choose a reference area in the mammogram for deriving effective background optical properties is described. Time-domain optical mammograms analyzed in the following were recorded by a laser-pulse scanning mammograph built at the PTB Berlin. The instrument was operated at two wavelengths, i.e. 785 nm and 670 nm. Details of this apparatus were published elsewhere [9

9 . D. Grosenick , H. Wabnitz , H.H. Rinneberg , K.T. Moesta , and P.M Schlag , “ Development of a time-domain optical mammograph and first in-vivo applications ,” Appl. Opt. 38 , 2927 – 2943 ( 1999 ). [CrossRef]

].

Recently, a modified perturbation approach, based on the application of “Padé approximants”, was reported to interpret in-vivo optical data [22

22 . A. Torricelli , L. Spinelli , A. Pifferi , P. Taroni , and R. Cubeddu , “ Use of nonlinear perturbation approach for in-vivo breast lesion characterization by multiwavelength time-resolved optical mammography ,” Opt. Exp. 11 , 853 – 867 ( 2003 ). [CrossRef]

,23

23 . L. Spinelli , A. Torircelli , A. Pifferi , P. Taroni , and R. Cubeddu , “ Experimental test of a novel perturbation model for time resolved imaging in diffusive media ,” Appl. Opt. 42 , 3145 – 3153 ( 2003 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. It was the aim of the authors of those papers to empirically extend the linear perturbation method to large variations in the optical properties, particularly for lesions with strongly increased absorption. In the present article we will not use Padé approximants although the edge corrections procedures outlined in this paper can be applied to this method as well.

2.Linear Perturbation Analysis of Optical Mammograms and Tumor Optical Properties

2.1 Linear Perturbation Theory

The linear perturbation model of Hebden and Arridge [26

26 . J.C. Hebden and S.R. Arridge , “ Imaging through scattering media by the use of an analytical method of perturbation amplitudes in the time domain ,” Appl. Opt. 35 , 6788 – 6796 ( 1996 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 29

29 . S.R. Arridge , “ Photon-measurement density functions. Part I: Analytical forms ,” Appl. Opt. 34 , 7395 – 7409 ( 1995 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] was used as forward model to analyze measured point spread functions, i.e. distributions of times of flight (DTOF) of photons through the slightly compressed breast, measured at a large number of scan positions.

The situation assumed in the perturbation model is sketched in Fig. 1. The tissue is considered as an infinitely extended partially homogeneous slab of thickness d(x,y), background absorption coefficient μ a0, and photon diffusion coefficient D 0 = 1/3μs0 (μs0 is the reduced scattering coefficient of the background). The inclusion of a homogeneous perturbation of volume V modifies local optical properties as μa = μ a0 + δμa and D = D 0 + δD. In linear perturbation theory the total transmitted time-resolved photon flux Ttot (t) at the site of the inhomogeneity is calculated as sum of the time-resolved transmitted flux of the bulk and of contributions from the inhomogeneity according to

Ttot(t)=T0(t)+δμafshapea(t)+δDfshapeD(t)
(1)

where the so called shape functions are calculated from integrals over the volume of the perturbation

fshapea,D(t)=VKa,D(rrs,t;μa0,D0,rdrs)d3r.
(2)

Explicit formulas for the integral kernels Ka,D are given in Ref. [28

28 . S. Carraresi , T.S.M. Shatir , F. Martelli , and G. Zaccanti , “ Accuracy of a perturbation model to predict the effect of scattering and absorbing inhomogeneities on photon migration ,” Appl. Opt. 40 , 4622 – 4632 ( 2001 ). [CrossRef]

]. We emphasize that the integral kernels depend solely on μ a0 and μs0 of the homogeneous bulk, on the position r (relative to the source position r s) and size (shape) of the impurity, as well as on the detector-source separation r d-r s. The in-vivo measurements analyzed here, were taken without lateral offset between source and detector, i.e. the dependence on the detector-source separation reduces to the dependence on breast thickness d(x, y).

2.2 Point Model for Generation of Absorption and Scattering Mammograms

Calculation of the shape functions (2) is time consuming. For a quick initial data analysis to generate optical absorption and scattering mammograms a simplified approximation of the exact integrals suffices, which will be called “point model” in the following. We note in passing that for a quantitative analysis of tumor optical properties the point model was not applied but the integrals in Eq. (2) were evaluated exactly.

In the point model the shape functions are calculated as the product of the integral kernel taken at the middle between source and detector and the volume of a test sphere with radius r¯ = 15 mm:

f˜shapea,D(t)=Ka,D((rdrs)/2,t;μa0,D0,rdrs)4πr33
(3)

The exact numerical value of r¯ is not relevant, as the point model is used merely for the initial qualitative data analysis step as detailed below. It should be emphasized, however, that the value δμa scales inversely with the volume of the test sphere in the point model. Thus more accurate tumor optical properties can be obtained by the point model using the actual tumor radius rather than r¯.

2.3 Reference Area and Reference Point Spread Function for Background Optical Properties

2.4 Background Optical Properties

2.5 Absorption and Scattering Mammograms from Time-Domain Data

In order to generate absorption and scattering mammogams, measured DTOFs N(x, y, t) were analyzed for absorption coefficients μa (x,y) = μ a0 +δμa (x,y) and reduced scattering coefficients μs (x, y) = μs0 + δμs (x, y) using the point model of linear perturbation theory. To this end all experimental curves N(x, y, t) were scaled by 1/Nexpnorm, independent of the real thickness d(x, y) of the breast. Whereas measured distributions of times of flight N(x, y, t) are normalized to approximately unit amplitude for scan positions within Ωref, distributions of times of flight of photons at locations (x,y) close to the edges of the breast and normalized in this way will exhibit amplitudes significantly larger than 1, because of the reduced thickness of the breast and hence increased transmittance.

In order to calculate the normalized, convolved total transmitted photon flux within the reference area Ωref the shape functions f~shapea,D(d 0, t) are evaluated for a breast thickness d 0, subsequently convolved with the instrumental response R(t) and normalized by Ntheonorm (d 0). According to Eq.(1) the results weighted by δμa (x,y) and δD(x,y) are then added to the normalized, convolved homogeneous flux. For each scan position (x,y) ∉ Ωref we analyzed the first moments 〈t(x,y)〉 to estimate the thickness of breast designated by dFM (x,y). The area of the mammogram outside the reference area Ωref where the breast is no longer in contact with both glass plates is then divided into a certain number of zones having approximately equal thickness dnFM where n is the index of the zone. This reduces the continuous set dFM (x,y) to discrete thickness values dnFM . Subsequently the homogeneous photon flux T 0(dnFM ,t) was calculated using the background optical properties (μ a0 and μs0) but taking the reduced breast thickness dnFM < d 0 into account. The resulting curve was convolved with the instrumental response and normalized obtaining the new normalization factor Ntheonorm (dnFM ) = max⌊T 0(dnFM , t)* R(t)⌋.

For each zone shape functions f~shapea,D (dnFM , t) were calculated for the appropriate thickness, subsequently convolved with the instrumental response and normalized by Ntheonorm (dnFM ), in analogy to the procedure described above for scan positions located within the reference area. The weighted results were added to the homogeneous contribution T 0(dnFM , t)*R(t)/ Ntheonorm (dnFM ) to yield the total transmitted flux, normalized to the amplitude of the homogeneous reference and convolved with the instrumental response function. More generally

Nfittheo(x,y,t;d)={T0(d,t)*R(t)max[T0(d,t)*R(t)]+δμa(x,y)f˜shapea(d,t)+δD(x,y)f˜shapeD(d,t)*R(t)max[T0(d,t)*R(t)]}
(4)

where d = d 0 for (x,y) ∊ Ωref and d = dnFM (x,y) falling into the nth zone, and the star indicates the convolution.

Generally, scanning optical mammograms exhibit “edge effects” to various degrees. Such edge effects are artifacts caused by the reduced thickness of the breast close to the edge and by lateral photon losses. Actually, the most important correction for “edge effects” is to use the thickness dFM (x,y) or dnFM rather than constant thickness d 0. However, if mammograms were to be extended further to the edge two additional corrections were applied, which were also used previously with the homogeneous model [9

9 . D. Grosenick , H. Wabnitz , H.H. Rinneberg , K.T. Moesta , and P.M Schlag , “ Development of a time-domain optical mammograph and first in-vivo applications ,” Appl. Opt. 38 , 2927 – 2943 ( 1999 ). [CrossRef]

].

The first correction amounts to an amplitude scaling of the normalized convolved total transmitted photon flux Nfittheo (x,y,t;d) by the exponential factor exp(W η(d 0-d)), where W = k 1 μ a0, and k 1 amounts to about 15, typically but can be as large as k 1 = 25. It follows from the discussion given above that measured distributions of times of flight N(x, y, t) normalized by Ntheonorm (d 0) exhibit amplitudes larger than 1 at locations (x,y) close to the edge of the breast whereas Nfittheo (x,y,t;d) (cf. Eq. (4)) is normalized essentially to unit amplitude even at those locations. The amplitude scaling factor exp(W η (d 0 - d)) corrects for the different amplitude normalization. Furthermore, lateral photon losses have to be considered at the edge of the breast, causing the average path of transmitted photons to be longer than expected from the geometrical thickness dFM (x, y) between source and detector. This effect is taken into account by correcting dFM (x,y) according to the following empirical relation (“shape correction”)

dn=d0S(d0dnFM)
(5)

and by using dn rather than dnFM in Eq.(4). The parameter S varies between 0 ≤ S ≤1, typically. In this way one obtains for the corrected, convolved, normalized total photon flux

Nfittheo,corr(x,y,t;d)=Nfittheo(x,y,t;d)exp{W(d0d)}
(6)

where d = d 0 for (x,y)∊ Ωref and d = dn for (x,y) falling into the nth zone. Finally, Nfittheo,corr(x,y,t;d) was fitted to the normalized experimental data N(x,y,t)/Nexpnormto deduce μa (x, y) and μs (x, y), ie. absorption and scattering mammograms.

Throughout this paper a standard simplex method was utilized for the curve fitting to minimize the residuals weighted to account for photon counting statistics [31

31 . W.H. Press , S.A. Teukolsky , V.T. Vetterling , and B.P. Flannery , Numerical Recipes in C , ( Cambridge University Press , 1997 ).

].

Presently, an analytical model to quantify the effect of lateral phonon losses is not available for the geometry of a compressed breast. The empirical correction rules reported here were derived from measurements on more than 100 patients. We optimized the correction parameters W and S for each measured mammogram, using the same parameters to display absorption and scattering mammograms. The parameter S was adjusted to obtain a visually uniform μs distribution pattern in the mammograms, free of steps and kinks caused by the separation into thickness zones. Fig. 2 shows a histogram of the optimal parameter for 107 mammograms. For those mammograms that needed a shape correction, a value of about S = 0.65 was found to be typical. This result agrees well with the range 0.63–0.7 reported in Ref [9

9 . D. Grosenick , H. Wabnitz , H.H. Rinneberg , K.T. Moesta , and P.M Schlag , “ Development of a time-domain optical mammograph and first in-vivo applications ,” Appl. Opt. 38 , 2927 – 2943 ( 1999 ). [CrossRef]

] for the model of the homogeneous slab. This indicates that correction (5) is not caused by the limitations of the linear perturbation or point model but results from edge effects influencing the light propagation in breast tissue. The values S =0.65 and k 1 = 15 can be used in general for the mammograms recorded within the collection of patients in our studies. Further improvements can be achieved in some cases using freely adjustable parameters S and W.

Fig. 2. Number of mammograms corrected by a shape correction factor S according to Eq. (5). Most mammograms do not need this correction (S = 1), since the scan did not extend far enough to the edge of the breast.

We note in passing that we tried also to choose the homogeneous reference for every zone separately, by summing and averaging DTOF curves over all points in the zone. This choice turned out to be advantageous for some selected patients, but in general the reconstruction of optical mammograms was poor due to strong intensity variations in the narrow zones of constant thickness.

2.6 Tumor Optical Properties

In the absorption mammograms obtained by the point model of linear perturbation theory the location of the lesions was determined by comparison with other imaging modalities (mostly x-ray mammography). This step is necessary since the absorption of tumor tissue dominates the absorption mammograms only in a limited number of cases [12

12 . D. Grosenick , K.T. Moesta , H. Wabnitz , J. Mucke , C. Stroszcynski , R. Macdonald , P.M. Schlag , and H.H. Rinneberg , “ Time-domain optical mammography: initial clinical results on detection and characterization of breast tumors ,” Appl. Opt. 42 , 3170 – 3186 ( 2003 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], if no contrast agents are applied. At the selected tumor position the experimental DTOF of photons is fitted with the true perturbation model (1) and (2). Tumor volume was inferred from pathology. The depth position of the lesion was not known in general. For data analysis the lesion was assumed in the middle between source and detector. In order to check the validity of this assumption we repeated calculations by moving the perturbation closely to the surface. To our estimate the error produced by assuming a wrong depth position is less 20 %. Data analysis by linear perturbation theory is thus robust and does not depend heavily on the knowledge of the exact depth location of the tumor. To our experience the choice of reference area described above allows to deduce quite reasonable optical properties of tumors in most cases.

3. Analysis of in-vivo Measurements and Discussion.

3.1 Optical Mammograms from Linear Perturbation Method

The effect of edge correction on absorption mammograms is demonstrated in Fig. 3 and in Fig. 4. Taking into account the variable breast thickness obtained from the first moment calculation as discussed above the tumor lying in the upper part can easily be located in Fig. 3(a,c). In contrast, assuming a constant breast thickness d 0, this feature is considerably masked by edge effects (Fig. 3(b,d)).

Fig. 3. Effect of thickness correction on absorption mammograms derived by perturbation theory (patient #75, invasive ductal carcinoma, λ = 785 nm); (a, b) craniocaudal projection, tumor at x = -0.25 cm and y = 7.25 cm, μ a0 = 0.032 cm-1; (a) with thickness correction, edge correction factor W = 0.49 cm-1, S = 0.47, tumor absorption μa = 0.088 cm-1 from exact calculation; (b) without edge thickness correction, (c, d) mediolateral projection, same tumor at x = -2.0 cm, y = 8.0 cm; μ a0 = 0.032 cm-1; (c) with thickness correction, edge correction factor W= 0.8 cm-1, S = 1.07 , tumor absorption μa = 0.072 cm-1 from exact calculation; (d) without edge correction. Absorption coefficients exceeding the gray scale are marked black.

Figure 4 shows another example where amplitude scaling and shape correction (cf. Eqs. (5, 6)) is needed. Fig. 4(a) displays the mammogram obtained using the thickness correction only (cf. Eq.(4)). After applying amplitude scaling as described above the range of applicability for perturbation analysis is extended as shown in Fig. 4(b). The nominal position of the tumor inferred from radiological information is at the scan position x = 3 cm, y = 5.25 cm. Fig. 4(b) clearly indicates that additional corrections (cf. Eq.(5,6)) permit to detect tumors located close to the edge of breasts.

Fig. 4. Comparison of absorption mammograms (a, b) generated by perturbation calculations (point model) and imaging photon counts in the late-time window for absorption contrast (patient #38, λ = 785nm, craniocaudal projection, μ a0 = 0.032 cm-1). (a) map of the absorption coefficient without amplitude and shape corrections (cf.Eq.(4)); (b) same mammogram but with amplitude scaling and shape correction (W = 0.848 cm-1, S = 0.825) applied, tumor at x = 3 cm, y = 5.25 cm, tumor absorption μa = 0.10 cm-1 from exact calculation; (c) reciprocal number (N81) of photons in the late-time window in relative units.

As was shown previously [9

9 . D. Grosenick , H. Wabnitz , H.H. Rinneberg , K.T. Moesta , and P.M Schlag , “ Development of a time-domain optical mammograph and first in-vivo applications ,” Appl. Opt. 38 , 2927 – 2943 ( 1999 ). [CrossRef]

,12

12 . D. Grosenick , K.T. Moesta , H. Wabnitz , J. Mucke , C. Stroszcynski , R. Macdonald , P.M. Schlag , and H.H. Rinneberg , “ Time-domain optical mammography: initial clinical results on detection and characterization of breast tumors ,” Appl. Opt. 42 , 3170 – 3186 ( 2003 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

,13

13 . A. Pifferi , P. Taroni , A. Toricelli , F. Messina , and R. Cubeddu , “ Four-wavelength, time-resolved optical mammography in the 680-980 nm range ,” Opt. Lett. 28 , 1138 – 1140 ( 2003 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

,24

24 . D. Grosenick , H. Wabnitz , K.T. Moesta , J. Mucke , M. MÖller , C. Stroszcynski , J. StÖαel , B. Wassermann , P.M. Schlag , and H.H. Rinneberg , “ Concentration and oxygen saturation of haemoglobin of 50 breast tumours determined by time-domain optical mammography ,” Phys. Med. Biol. 49 , 1165 – 1181 ( 2004 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], a convenient and efficient way to achieve online imaging in scanning optical mammography is to display (inverse) photon counts in selected time windows. Fig. 4(c) illustrates the same mammogram based on inverse photon counts 1/N 8 accumulated in the eighth out of ten time windows, a model free approach known to be very robust against edge effects. Such mammograms display essentially absorption contrast. Imaging based on absorption coefficients derived by the point model of linear perturbation theory need to be corrected for edge effects, but provide comparable information as can be seen from Fig. (4a,c). A systematic analysis of lesion contrast in both kinds of mammograms confirms this finding [32

32 . D. Grosenick , K.Th. Moesta , M. MÖller , J. Mucke , H. Wabnitz , J. Gebauer , C. Stroszcynski , B. Wassermann , P.M. Schlag , and H. Rinneberg , “ Time-domain scanning optical mammography: I. Recording and assessment of mammograms of 154 patients ,” Phys. Med. Biol. 50 , 2429 – 2449 ( 2005 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

].

Scattering features can be mapped qualitatively displaying inverse photon counts of the early-time window 1/N 1. Fig. 5 compares mammograms with a cyst displaying reduced scattering coefficients derived by the point model of linear perturbation theory and based on (inverse) photon counts in an early time window. The lower scattering in the cyst leads to the bright area in both images. However, since mammograms based on inverse photon counts in early time windows provide absorption contrast to some extend besides scattering contrast, there are additional features clearly visible in Fig. 5(b) which are absent in Fig. 5(a). Fig. 5(c) demonstrates that these features coincide with the absorption of blood vessels, that are not supposed to display substantially increased scattering.

We note that for a PC (with AMD Athlon XP Processor, 1.5 GHz ) the calculation of a complete mammogram, applying the point model of linear perturbation theory takes about 1 min. to 2 min. This time is acceptable for online data analysis, allowing this method to be integrated into optical mammographs to enhance separation of absorption and scattering in raw data imaging.

Fig. 5. Comparison of optical mammogram generated by perturbation calculations (point model) and time-window imaging for scattering contrast (patient #98, cyst at x = 2.5 cm and y = 2 cm, λ = 785 nm, craniocaudal projection, μ a0 = 0.059 cm-1, μs0 = 11.7 cm-1). (a) Map of the reduced scattering coefficient employing amplitude and shape corrections (W = 0.88 cm-1, S = 0.63), reduced scattering coefficient μs ′ = 7.2 cm-1 of cyst from exact perturbation calculation; (b) reciprocal number (arbitrary units) of photons in the early time window N11 showing artifacts from absorption features; (c) map of absorption coefficient calculated with point model as in (a).

3.2 Optical Properties of Tumors

The error bars in Fig. 6(b) were estimated from a linear perturbation analysis of simulated data generated by finite element calculations for breast-like phantoms. The error bars do not include contributions originating from uncertainties on the actual size, shape and depth of the tumors.

Fig. 6. Distribution of tumor optical properties (linear perturbation theory, cf. Eq.(1,2), λ = 785 nm). Relative change (a) of absorption coefficient and (b) of reduced scattering coefficient with respect to background optical properties for a number of patients (n=18). No clear trend is observed for the scattering whereas absorption is always increased.

4. Conclusion

An efficient method to generate optical mammograms in the frame of a linear perturbation approach of diffusion theory is presented. The procedure to correct for edge effects suggested extends the applicability of perturbation analysis to those parts of the optical mammogram, where the breast is no longer in contact with both compression plates. Linear perturbation theory is shown here to be a powerful method for imaging absorption and scattering features, and is robust against missing information on geometrical parameters of lesions. The derived maps of the reduced scattering coefficient are showing well resolved cyst patterns and no obvious cross talk with absorption features. Quantitative data analysis of more than 18 patients has been presented as well. Further work is needed to evaluate the limits of linear perturbation theory. It is expected that methods for edge correction outlined here for linear perturbation analysis of compressed breast optical mammography can be used also to extend the applicability of genuine nonlinear perturbation analysis and as well as the method of Padé approximants.

Acknowledgments

This work was supported in part by the European Commission, contract QLG1-CT-2000-00690 and by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour, grant BMWA VI A2-6.

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B.W. Pogue , M. Testorf , T. McBride , U. Osterberg , and K. Paulsen , “ Instrumentation and design of a frequency-domain diffuse optical tomography imager for breast cancer detection ,” Opt. Express 1 , 391 – 403 ( 1997 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

9 .

D. Grosenick , H. Wabnitz , H.H. Rinneberg , K.T. Moesta , and P.M Schlag , “ Development of a time-domain optical mammograph and first in-vivo applications ,” Appl. Opt. 38 , 2927 – 2943 ( 1999 ). [CrossRef]

10 .

R. Cubeddu , A. Pifferi , P. Taroni , A. Toricelli , and G. Valentini , “ Noninvasive absorption and scattering spectroscopy of bulk diffusive media: An application to the optical characterization of the human breast ,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 74 , 874 – 876 ( 1999 ). [CrossRef]

11 .

A.E. Cerussi , D. Jakubowski , N. Shah , F. Bevilacqua , R. Lanning , A.J. Berger , D. Hsiang , J. Butler , R.F. Holcomb , and B.J. Tromberg , “ Spectroscopy enhances the information content of optical mammography ,” J. Biomed. Opt. 7 , 60 – 71 ( 2002 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

12 .

D. Grosenick , K.T. Moesta , H. Wabnitz , J. Mucke , C. Stroszcynski , R. Macdonald , P.M. Schlag , and H.H. Rinneberg , “ Time-domain optical mammography: initial clinical results on detection and characterization of breast tumors ,” Appl. Opt. 42 , 3170 – 3186 ( 2003 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

13 .

A. Pifferi , P. Taroni , A. Toricelli , F. Messina , and R. Cubeddu , “ Four-wavelength, time-resolved optical mammography in the 680-980 nm range ,” Opt. Lett. 28 , 1138 – 1140 ( 2003 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

14 .

D.B. Jakubowski , A.E. Cerussi , F. Bevilacqua , N. Shah , D. Hsiang , J. Butler , and B.J. Tromberg , “ Monitoring neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer using quantitative optical spectroscopy: a case study ,” J. Biomed. Opt. 9 , 230 – 238 ( 2004 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

15 .

B.W. Pogue , S. Jiang , H. Dehghani , C. Kogel , S. Soho , S. Srinivasan , X. Song , T.D. Tosteson , S.P. Poplack , and K.D. Paulsen , “ Characterization of hemoglobin, water, and NIR scattering in breast tissue: analysis of intersubject variability and menstrual cycle changes ,” J. Biomed. Opt. 9 , 541 – 552 ( 2004 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

16 .

P. Taroni , G. Danesini , A. Toricelli , A. Pifferi , L. Spinelli , and R. Cubeddu , “ Clinical trial of time-resolved optical mammography at 4 wavelengths between 683 and 975 nm ,” J. Biomed. Opt. 9 , 464 – 473 ( 2004 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

17 .

B.W. Pogue , T.O. McBride , U.L. Osterberg , and K. Paulsen , “ Comparison of imaging geometries for diffuse optical tomography of tissue ,” Opt. Express 4 , 270 – 286 ( 1999 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

18 .

S.R. Arridge Inverse Problems (15, R41-R93 , 1999 ).

19 .

J.C. Hebden , H. Veenstra , H. Dehghani , E.M.C. Hillman , M. Schweiger , S.R. Arridge , and D.T. Delpy , “ Three-dimensional time-resolved optical tomography of a conical breast phantom ,” Appl. Opt. 40 , 3278 – 3287 ( 2001 ). [CrossRef]

20 .

V. Ntziachristos , A.G. Yodh , M. Schnall , and B. Chance , “ Concurrent MRI and diffuse optical tomography of breast after indocyanine green enhancement ,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 97 , 2767 – 2772 ( 2000 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

21 .

B. Brooksby , S. Jiang , H. Dehghani , B.W. Pogue , K.D. Paulsen , C. Kogel , M. Doyley , J.B. Weaver , and S.P. Poplack , “ Magnetic resonance-guided near-infrared tomography of the breast ,” Rev. Sci. Instr. 75 , 5262 – 5270 ( 2004 ). [CrossRef]

22 .

A. Torricelli , L. Spinelli , A. Pifferi , P. Taroni , and R. Cubeddu , “ Use of nonlinear perturbation approach for in-vivo breast lesion characterization by multiwavelength time-resolved optical mammography ,” Opt. Exp. 11 , 853 – 867 ( 2003 ). [CrossRef]

23 .

L. Spinelli , A. Torircelli , A. Pifferi , P. Taroni , and R. Cubeddu , “ Experimental test of a novel perturbation model for time resolved imaging in diffusive media ,” Appl. Opt. 42 , 3145 – 3153 ( 2003 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

24 .

D. Grosenick , H. Wabnitz , K.T. Moesta , J. Mucke , M. MÖller , C. Stroszcynski , J. StÖαel , B. Wassermann , P.M. Schlag , and H.H. Rinneberg , “ Concentration and oxygen saturation of haemoglobin of 50 breast tumours determined by time-domain optical mammography ,” Phys. Med. Biol. 49 , 1165 – 1181 ( 2004 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

25 .

S.R. Arridge , P. van der Zee , M. Cope , and D.T Delpy , “ Reconstruction methods for infra-red absorption imaging ,” in Proc. SPIE vol. 1431 , “ Time resolved Spectroscopy and Imaging of Tissues ,” 204 – 215 ( 1991 ). [CrossRef]

26 .

J.C. Hebden and S.R. Arridge , “ Imaging through scattering media by the use of an analytical method of perturbation amplitudes in the time domain ,” Appl. Opt. 35 , 6788 – 6796 ( 1996 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

27 .

M. Morin , S. Verreault , A. Mailloux , J. Frechette , S. Chatingy , Y. Painchaud , and P. Beaudry , “ Inclusion characterization in a scattering slab with time-resolved transmittance measurements: perturbation analysis ,” Appl. Opt. 39 , 2840 – 2852 ( 2000 ). [CrossRef]

28 .

S. Carraresi , T.S.M. Shatir , F. Martelli , and G. Zaccanti , “ Accuracy of a perturbation model to predict the effect of scattering and absorbing inhomogeneities on photon migration ,” Appl. Opt. 40 , 4622 – 4632 ( 2001 ). [CrossRef]

29 .

S.R. Arridge , “ Photon-measurement density functions. Part I: Analytical forms ,” Appl. Opt. 34 , 7395 – 7409 ( 1995 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

30 .

S. Feng , F.-A. Zeng , and B. Chance , “ Photon migration in the presence of a single defect: a perturbation analysis ,” Appl. Opt. 34 , 3826 – 3837 ( 1995 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

31 .

W.H. Press , S.A. Teukolsky , V.T. Vetterling , and B.P. Flannery , Numerical Recipes in C , ( Cambridge University Press , 1997 ).

32 .

D. Grosenick , K.Th. Moesta , M. MÖller , J. Mucke , H. Wabnitz , J. Gebauer , C. Stroszcynski , B. Wassermann , P.M. Schlag , and H. Rinneberg , “ Time-domain scanning optical mammography: I. Recording and assessment of mammograms of 154 patients ,” Phys. Med. Biol. 50 , 2429 – 2449 ( 2005 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

33 .

D. Grosenick , H. Wabnitz , K.Th. Moesta , J. Mucke , P.M. Schlag , and H. Rinneberg , “ Time-domain scanning optical mammography: II. Optical properties and tissue parameters of 87 carcinomas ,” Phys. Med. Biol. 50 , 2451 – 2468 ( 2005 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

34 .

D. Grosenick , B. Wassermann , R. Macdonald , H. Rinneberg , A. Torricelli , L. Spinelli , and R. Cubeddu , “ Experimental assessment of analytical models for estimating tumor optical properties in laser pulse mammography ,” in Proc. SPIE vol. 5859 , “ Photon Migration and Diffuse-Light Imaging II ,” 89 – 98 ( 2005 ).

35 .

B. J. Tromberg , N. Shah , R. Lanning , A. Cerussi , J. Espinoza , T. Pham , L. Svaasand , and J. Butler , “ Non-invasive in vivo characterization of breast tumors using photon migration spectroscopy ,” Neoplasia 2 , 26 – 40 ( 2000 ). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

36 .

N. Shah , A. E. Cerussi , D. Jakubowski , D. Hsiang , J. Butler , and B. J. Tromberg , “ The role of diffuse optical spectroscopy in the clinical management of breast cancer ,” Dis. Markers 19 , 95 – 105 ( 2004 ). [PubMed]

37 .

P Taroni , A Pifferi , A Torricelli , L Spinelli , G M Danesini , and R Cubeddu , “ Do shorter wavelengths improve contrast in optical mammography? , ” Phys. Med. Biol. 49 , 1203 – 1215 ( 2004 ) [CrossRef] [PubMed]

OCIS Codes
(100.3010) Image processing : Image reconstruction techniques
(170.3660) Medical optics and biotechnology : Light propagation in tissues
(170.3830) Medical optics and biotechnology : Mammography
(170.6510) Medical optics and biotechnology : Spectroscopy, tissue diagnostics
(170.6920) Medical optics and biotechnology : Time-resolved imaging
(290.7050) Scattering : Turbid media

ToC Category:
Research Papers

History
Original Manuscript: June 17, 2005
Revised Manuscript: September 29, 2005
Published: October 17, 2005

Citation
Bernhard Wassermann, A. Kummrow, K. Moesta, D. Grosenick, J. Mucke, H. Wabnitz, M. Moller, R. Macdonald, P. Schlag, and H. Rinneberg, "In-vivo tissue optical properties derived by linear perturbation theory for edge-corrected time-domain mammograms," Opt. Express 13, 8571-8583 (2005)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-13-21-8571


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References

  1. E.B. de Haller, "Time-resolved transillumination and optical tomography," J. Biomed. Opt. 1, 7-17 (1996). [CrossRef]
  2. G. Mitic, J. Kölzer, J. Otto, E. Plies, G. Sölkner, W. Zinth, "Time-gated transillumination, of biological tissues and tissuelike phantoms," Appl. Opt. 33, 6699-6710 (1994). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. J.B. Fishkin, P.T.C. So, A.E. Cerussi, S. Fantini, M.A. Franceschini, E. Gratton, "Frequency domain method for measuring spectral properties in multiple-scattering media: methemoglobin spectra in a tissuelike phantom," Appl. Opt. 34, 1143-1155 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. H. Heusmann, J. Kölzer, G. Mitic, "Characterization of female breasts in vivo by time resolved and spectroscopic measurements in near infrared spectroscopy, �??J. Biomed. Opt. 1, 425-434 (1996). [CrossRef]
  5. S. Fantini, S.A. Franceschini, G. Gaida, E. Gratton, H. Jess, W.W. Mantulin, K.T. Moesta, P.M. Schlag, M. Kaschke, "Frequency-domain optical mammography: Edge effects correction," Med. Phys. 23, 149-157 (1996). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. J.B. Fishkin, O. Coquoz, E.R. Anderson, M. Brenner, B.J. Tromberg, "Frequency domain photon migration measurements of normal and malignant tissue optical properties in a human subject," Appl. Opt. 36, 10-20 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. M.A. Franceschini, K. T. Moesta, S. Fantini, G. Gaida, E. Gratton, H. Jess, W.W. Mantulin, M. Seeber, P.M. Schlag, M. Kaschke, "Freuqency-domain techniques enhance optical mammography, Initial clinical results,�?? Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 94, 6468-6473 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. B.W. Pogue, M. Testorf, T. McBride, U. Osterberg, K. Paulsen, "Instrumentation and design of a frequency-domain diffuse optical tomography imager for breast cancer detection," Opt. Express 1, 391-403 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. D. Grosenick, H. Wabnitz, H.H. Rinneberg, K.T. Moesta, P.M Schlag, "Development of a time-domain optical mammograph and first in-vivo applications," Appl. Opt. 38, 2927-2943 (1999). [CrossRef]
  10. R. Cubeddu, A. Pifferi, P. Taroni, A. Toricelli, G. Valentini, "Noninvasive absorption and scattering spectroscopy of bulk diffusive media: An application to the optical characterization of the human breast," Appl. Phys. Lett. 74, 874-876 (1999). [CrossRef]
  11. A.E. Cerussi, D. Jakubowski, N. Shah, F. Bevilacqua, R. Lanning, A.J. Berger, D. Hsiang, J. Butler, R.F. Holcomb, B.J. Tromberg, "Spectroscopy enhances the information content of optical mammography," J. Biomed. Opt. 7, 60-71 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. D. Grosenick, K.T. Moesta, H. Wabnitz, J. Mucke, C. Stroszcynski, R. Macdonald, P.M. Schlag, H.H. Rinneberg, " Time-domain optical mammography: initial clinical results on detection and characterization of breast tumors," Appl. Opt. 42, 3170-3186 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. A. Pifferi, P. Taroni, A. Toricelli, F. Messina, R. Cubeddu, �??Four-wavelength, time-resolved optical mammography in the 680-980 nm range,�?? Opt. Lett. 28, 1138-1140 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. D.B. Jakubowski, A.E. Cerussi, F. Bevilacqua, N. Shah, D. Hsiang, J. Butler, B.J. Tromberg, "Monitoring neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer using quantitative optical spectroscopy: a case study," J. Biomed. Opt. 9, 230-238 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. B.W. Pogue, S. Jiang, H. Dehghani, C. Kogel, S. Soho, S. Srinivasan, X. Song, T.D. Tosteson, S.P. Poplack, K.D. Paulsen, "Characterization of hemoglobin, water, and NIR scattering in breast tissue: analysis of intersubject variability and menstrual cycle changes," J. Biomed. Opt. 9, 541-552 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. P. Taroni, G. Danesini, A. Toricelli, A. Pifferi,L. Spinelli, R. Cubeddu, "Clinical trial of time-resolved optical mammography at 4 wavelengths between 683 and 975 nm," J. Biomed. Opt. 9, 464-473 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. B.W. Pogue, T.O. McBride, U.L. Osterberg, K. Paulsen, "Comparison of imaging geometries for diffuse optical tomography of tissue," Opt. Express 4, 270-286 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. S.R. Arridge, Inverse Problems (15, R41-R93 ,1999).
  19. J.C. Hebden, H. Veenstra, H. Dehghani, E.M.C. Hillman, M. Schweiger, S.R. Arridge, D.T. Delpy, "Three-dimensional time-resolved optical tomography of a conical breast phantom," Appl. Opt. 40, 3278- 3287 (2001). [CrossRef]
  20. V. Ntziachristos, A.G. Yodh, M. Schnall, B. Chance, "Concurrent MRI and diffuse optical tomography of breast after indocyanine green enhancement," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 97, 2767-2772 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  21. B. Brooksby, S. Jiang, H. Dehghani, B.W. Pogue, K.D. Paulsen, C. Kogel, M. Doyley, J.B. Weaver, S.P. Poplack, "Magnetic resonance-guided near-infrared tomography of the breast," Rev. Sci. Instr. 75, 5262- 5270 (2004). [CrossRef]
  22. A. Torricelli, L. Spinelli, A. Pifferi, P. Taroni, R. Cubeddu, "Use of nonlinear perturbation approach for invivo breast lesion characterization by multiwavelength time-resolved optical mammography," Opt. Exp. 11, 853-867 (2003). [CrossRef]
  23. L. Spinelli , A. Torircelli, A. Pifferi, P. Taroni, R. Cubeddu, "Experimental test of a novel perturbation model for time resolved imaging in diffusive media," Appl. Opt. 42, 3145-3153 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  24. D. Grosenick, H. Wabnitz, K.T. Moesta, J. Mucke, M. Möller, C. Stroszcynski, J. Stö�?el, B. Wassermann, P.M. Schlag, and H.H. Rinneberg, "Concentration and oxygen saturation of haemoglobin of 50 breast tumours determined by time-domain optical mammography," Phys. Med. Biol. 49, 1165-1181 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  25. S.R. Arridge, P. van der Zee, M. Cope, D.T Delpy , "Reconstruction methods for infra-red absorption imaging," in Proc. SPIE vol. 1431, "Time resolved Spectroscopy and Imaging of Tissues," 204-215 (1991). [CrossRef]
  26. J.C. Hebden, S.R. Arridge, "Imaging through scattering media by the use of an analytical method of perturbation amplitudes in the time domain," Appl. Opt. 35, 6788-6796 (1996). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  27. M. Morin, S. Verreault, A. Mailloux, J. Frechette, S. Chatingy, Y. Painchaud, P. Beaudry, "Inclusion characterization in a scattering slab with time-resolved transmittance measurements: perturbation analysis," Appl. Opt. 39, 2840-2852 (2000). [CrossRef]
  28. S. Carraresi, T.S.M. Shatir, F. Martelli, G. Zaccanti, "Accuracy of a perturbation model to predict the effect of scattering and absorbing inhomogeneities on photon migration," Appl. Opt. 40, 4622-4632 (2001). [CrossRef]
  29. S.R. Arridge, "Photon-measurement density functions. Part I: Analytical forms," Appl. Opt. 34, 7395-7409 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  30. S. Feng, F.-A. Zeng, B. Chance, "Photon migration in the presence of a single defect: a perturbation analysis," Appl. Opt. 34, 3826-3837 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  31. W.H. Press, S.A. Teukolsky, V.T. Vetterling, B.P. Flannery, Numerical Recipes in C, (Cambridge University Press, 1997).
  32. D. Grosenick, K.Th. Moesta, M. Möller, J. Mucke, H. Wabnitz, J. Gebauer, C. Stroszcynski, B. Wassermann, P.M. Schlag, H. Rinneberg, "Time-domain scanning optical mammography: I. Recording and assessment of mammograms of 154 patients," Phys. Med. Biol. 50, 2429-2449 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  33. D. Grosenick, H. Wabnitz, K.Th. Moesta, , J. Mucke, P.M. Schlag, H. Rinneberg, "Time-domain scanning optical mammography: II. Optical properties and tissue parameters of 87 carcinomas," Phys. Med. Biol. 50, 2451-2468 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

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