## Image reconstruction in diffuse optical tomography based on simplified spherical harmonics approximation

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 26, pp. 24208-24223 (2009)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.17.024208

Acrobat PDF (865 KB)

### Abstract

The use of higher order approximations to the Radiative transport equation, through simplified spherical harmonics expansion (SP_{N}) in optical tomography are presented. It is shown that, although the anisotropy factor can be modeled in the forward problem, its sensitivity to the measured boundary data is limited to superficial regions and more importantly, due to uniqueness of the inverse problem it cannot be determined using frequency domain data. Image reconstruction through the use of higher ordered models is presented. It is demonstrated that at higher orders (for example SP_{7}) the image reconstruction becomes highly under-determined due to the large increase in the number of unknowns which cannot be adequately recovered. However, reconstruction of diffuse parameters, namely optical absorption and reduced scatter have shown to be more accurate where only the sensitivity matrix used in the inverse problem is based on SP_{N} method and image reconstruction is limited to these two diffuse parameters.

© 2009 OSA

## 1. Introduction

1. A. P. Gibson, J. C. Hebden, and S. R. Arridge, “Recent advances in diffuse optical imaging,” Phys. Med. Biol. **50**(4), R1–R43 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

3. D. A. Boas, D. H. Brooks, E. L. Miller, C. A. DiMarzio, M. Kilmer, R. J. Gaudette, and Q. Zhang, “Imaging the body with diffuse optical tomography,” IEEE Signal Process. Mag. **18**(6), 57–75 (2001). [CrossRef]

1. A. P. Gibson, J. C. Hebden, and S. R. Arridge, “Recent advances in diffuse optical imaging,” Phys. Med. Biol. **50**(4), R1–R43 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

4. R. Choe, A. Corlu, K. Lee, T. Durduran, S. D. Konecky, M. Grosicka-Koptyra, S. R. Arridge, B. J. Czerniecki, D. L. Fraker, A. DeMichele, B. Chance, M. A. Rosen, and A. G. Yodh, “Diffuse optical tomography of breast cancer during neoadjuvant chemotherapy: a case study with comparison to MRI,” Med. Phys. **32**(4), 1128–1139 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

7. L. C. Enfield, A. P. Gibson, N. L. Everdell, D. T. Delpy, M. Schweiger, S. R. Arridge, C. Richardson, M. Keshtgar, M. Douek, and J. C. Hebden, “Three-dimensional time-resolved optical mammography of the uncompressed breast,” Appl. Opt. **46**(17), 3628–3638 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

8. B. W. Zeff, B. R. White, H. Dehghani, B. L. Schlaggar, and J. P. Culver, “Retinotopic mapping of adult human visual cortex with high-density diffuse optical tomography,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. **104**(29), 12169–12174 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

12. A. Y. Bluestone, G. Abdoulaev, C. Schmitz, R. L. Barbour, and A. H. Hielscher, “Three-dimensional optical tomography of hemodynamics in the human head,” Opt. Express **9**(6), 272–286 (2001). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

13. A. D. Klose and A. H. Hielscher, “Fluorescence tomography with simulated data based on the equation of radiative transfer,” Opt. Lett. **28**(12), 1019–1021 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

15. E. M. Sevick-Muraca, G. Lopez, J. S. Reynolds, T. L. Troy, and C. L. Hutchinson, “Fluorescence and absorption contrast mechanisms for biomedical optical imaging using frequency-domain techniques,” Photochem. Photobiol. **66**(1), 55–64 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

16. G. Alexandrakis, F. R. Rannou, and A. F. Chatziioannou, “Tomographic bioluminescence imaging by use of a combined optical-PET (OPET) system: a computer simulation feasibility study,” Phys. Med. Biol. **50**(4225), 4241 (2005). [CrossRef]

20. H. Dehghani, S. C. Davis, and B. W. Pogue, “Spectrally resolved bioluminescence tomography using the reciprocity approach,” Med. Phys. **35**(11), 4863–4871 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

21. S. R. Arridge, “Optical tomography in medical imaging,” Inverse Probl. **15**(2), R41–R93 (1999). [CrossRef]

23. A. H. Hielscher, A. D. Klose, and K. M. Hanson, “Gradient-based iterative image reconstruction scheme for time-resolved optical tomography,” IEEE Trans. Med. Imaging **18**(3), 262–271 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

_{s}’>>μ

_{a}, where μ

_{s}’ is the reduced scattering coefficient and μ

_{a}is the absorption coefficient. Whilst these conditions are generally applicable in most soft tissue, the presence of non-scattering regions, such as the cerebrospinal fluid found within the brain, or small source-detector separation, as encountered in small animal imaging, can mean that the DA is not valid for all cases [24

24. J. Riley, H. Dehghani, M. Schweiger, S. Arridge, J. Ripoll, and M. Nieto-Vesperinas, “3D optical tomography in the presence of void regions,” Opt. Express **7**(13), 462–467 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

28. J. Ripoll, M. Nieto-Vesperinas, S. R. Arridge, and H. Dehghani, “Boundary conditions for light propagation in diffusive media with nonscattering regions,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A **17**(9), 1671–1681 (2000). [CrossRef]

_{N}) approximation of the RTE [29], for example, expands the angular components of radiance into a series of spherical harmonics. This method has been successfully applied in optical imaging but although more appropriate in conditions where the DA is not valid, it is still less than ideal due to the computational cost incurred [29–32

32. E. D. Aydin, C. R. E. de Oliveira, and A. J. H. Goddard, “A comparison between transport and diffusion calculations using a finite element-spherical harmonics radiation transport method,” Med. Phys. **29**(9), 2013–2023 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

_{N}) is also a common implementation of the RTE often encountered in nuclear physics which discretises the angular components into a number of discrete directions. This method has also been used successfully in optical imaging application but as in the latter case results in a much higher computational cost as compared to the DA [27

27. A. H. Hielscher, R. E. Alcouffe, and R. L. Barbour, “Comparison of finite-difference transport and diffusion calculations for photon migration in homogeneous and heterogeneous tissues,” Phys. Med. Biol. **43**(5), 1285–1302 (1998). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

33. A. D. Klose, U. Netz, J. Beuthan, and A. H. Hielscher, “Optical tomography using the time-independent equation of radiative transfer — Part 1: forward model,” J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transf. **72**(5), 691–713 (2002). [CrossRef]

_{N}) approximation to the RTE has been applied and studied [35

35. A. D. Klose and E. W. Larsen, “Light transport in biological tissue based on the simplified spherical harmonics equations,” J. Comput. Phys. **220**(1), 441–470 (2006). [CrossRef]

36. M. Chu, K. Vishwanath, A. D. Klose, and H. Dehghani, “Light transport in biological tissue using three-dimensional frequency-domain simplified spherical harmonics equations,” Phys. Med. Biol. **54**(8), 2493–2509 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

_{N}methods have been demonstrated to give accurate solutions for small geometries and in cases where the source/detector separation is small. The SP

_{N}method has the advantage of requiring (N + 1)/2 equations where N is the number of Legendre Polynomials. This is in contrast to (N + 1)

^{2}equations for the P

_{N}approximation, and N(N + 2) equations for the S

_{N}method, where N is the number of allowed directions.

_{a}and the diffusion coefficient κ = 1/3(μ

_{a}+ μ

_{s}’) where μ

_{s}’ = (1-g)μ

_{s}and μ

_{s}and g are the scattering coefficient and anisotropic factor respectively. One drawback of the application of the DA is that through the introduction of the reduced scattering coefficient, information about the scattering phase function is lost [32

32. E. D. Aydin, C. R. E. de Oliveira, and A. J. H. Goddard, “A comparison between transport and diffusion calculations using a finite element-spherical harmonics radiation transport method,” Med. Phys. **29**(9), 2013–2023 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

37. G. Marquez, L. V. Wang, S. P. Lin, J. A. Schwartz, and S. L. Thomsen, “Anisotropy in the absorption and scattering spectra of chicken breast tissue,” Appl. Opt. **37**(4), 798–804 (1998). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

38. S. Nickell, M. Hermann, M. Essenpreis, T. J. Farrell, U. Krämer, and M. S. Patterson, “Anisotropy of light propagation in human skin,” Phys. Med. Biol. **45**(10), 2873–2886 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

_{N}based models are used to study the effects of anisotropic scattering factor on image reconstruction. More specifically the use of SP

_{N}methods have been utilized to evaluate the sensitivity of measured boundary data from a frequency domain (FD) measurement system (where amplitude and phase of the fluence are used at typically 100 MHz modulation frequency) to not only optical absorption and scatter but also anisotropy factor. Through calculation of error-norm (residual) from a theoretical model, the uniqueness of this problem is demonstrated. Furthermore, a framework for the use of SP

_{N}methods in image reconstruction is presented.

## 2. Theory

### 2.1 Forward model

_{N}approximation to the RTE. The SP

_{N}equations can be derived by taking the planar spherical harmonics approximation and replacing the 1D derivatives with their 3D counterparts [35

35. A. D. Klose and E. W. Larsen, “Light transport in biological tissue based on the simplified spherical harmonics equations,” J. Comput. Phys. **220**(1), 441–470 (2006). [CrossRef]

36. M. Chu, K. Vishwanath, A. D. Klose, and H. Dehghani, “Light transport in biological tissue using three-dimensional frequency-domain simplified spherical harmonics equations,” Phys. Med. Biol. **54**(8), 2493–2509 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

_{7}approximation results in a set of four coupled equations:

_{an}is the n

^{th}order absorption coefficient given by:where the total attenuation coefficient μ

_{t}is given by the sum of the absorption and scattering coefficients (μ

_{t}= μ

_{a}+ μ

_{s}). In practice, however, it is only possible to experimentally record the total fluence which is calculated from the composite moments as

_{N}approximation introduces the possibility of reconstructing a wider range of optical parameters. Whereas the DA allows the recovery of just μ

_{a}and μ

_{s}’, the SP

_{N}approximation allows the recovery of μ

_{a}, μ

_{a1}, μ

_{a2,}μ

_{a3}, … μ

_{an}and, from these values μ

_{s}and g can be calculated through Eq. (2). It is important to note that although it is possible to measure the angular dependence of the fluence at the boundary through the use of optical fibers whose numerical aperture can be adjusted, it is not clear how the composite moments as shown in Eq. (1) and 3 may be measured experimentally. Nonetheless, for the purpose of the theoretical study presented here, it will be assumed that these moments can be measured. The SP

_{N}equations have been implemented using the NIRFAST package and previously validated using Monte Carlo models [36

36. M. Chu, K. Vishwanath, A. D. Klose, and H. Dehghani, “Light transport in biological tissue using three-dimensional frequency-domain simplified spherical harmonics equations,” Phys. Med. Biol. **54**(8), 2493–2509 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

### 2.2 Image reconstruction

^{M}and data calculated by the forward model Φ

^{C}using a modified Tinkhonov minimization approach given by [22

22. H. Dehghani, M. E. Eames, P. K. Yalavarthy, S. C. Davis, S. Srinivasan, C. M. Carpenter, B. W. Pogue, and K. D. Paulsen, “Near Infrared Optical Tomography using NIRFAST: Algorithms for Numerical Model and Image Reconstruction Algorithms,” Communications in Numerical Methods in Engineering (2008).

*NM*is the number of measurements, NN is the number of nodes in the FEM, μ

_{0}is an initial estimate of the optical properties and λ is the Tikhonov regularization parameter. By considering only the first order terms and applying the Levenberg-Marquardt procedure, this leads to an update vectorwhere

_{i}/δμ

_{j}are sub-matrices that define changes in the

*i*th measurement of log amplitude due to a change in optical properties at node j, and δθ

_{i}/δμ

_{j}define changes in the

*i*th measurement of phase due to changes in optical properties at node j.

39. S. R. Arridge and M. Schweiger, “Photon-measurement density functions. Part2: Finite-element-method calculations,” Appl. Opt. **34**(34), 8026–8037 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

## 3. Methods and results

#### 3.1 Sensitivity mapping

_{7}models to changes in optical properties were studied using a circular geometry of 43 mm radius with 16 equally spaced and collocated sources and detectors as shown in Fig. 1 . The Jacobian was constructed using the perturbation method before being mapped onto the mesh coordinates to produce a map of sensitivity to changes in optical properties. The reference data was calculated using homogeneous optical properties of μ

_{a}= 0.01 mm

^{−1}, μ

_{s}= 10 mm

^{−1}, g = 0.9 and refractive index (n) = 1.33 using a modulation frequency of 100MHz. The sources were modeled as point sources located at 1 mm inside the boundary, to correspond with one reduced scattering distance as in DA.

40. S. R. Arridge and W. R. B. Lionheart, “Nonuniqueness in diffusion-based optical tomography,” Opt. Lett. **23**(11), 882–884 (1998). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

_{7}equations. A circular anomaly, with radius 10 mm, was inserted into the mesh as shown in Fig. 4 . The optical properties within the anomaly were perturbed with either the absorption coefficient ranging between 0.0125mm

^{−1}to 0.0375mm

^{−1}, scattering coefficient ranging between 10mm

^{−1}to 30mm

^{−1}and anisotropy factor ranged between 0 and 1 and corresponding boundary data for all possible combinations were calculated. These wide range of values are chosen in order to allow a comprehensive study of their effect on problem uniqueness. Reference data was also calculated using the optical properties of μ

_{a}= 0.025 mm

^{−1}, μ

_{s}= 20 mm

^{−1}and g = 0.9. The absolute error (L1 norm) for each data-type between the reference and each set of perturbed data was the defined aswhere

_{a}and μ

_{s}. A large band of optical property combinations exists for which the error between the reference data and perturbed data falls to zero. These equivalent combinations lead to identical amplitude data at the boundary and, as such, amplitude data alone is insufficient to recover both absorption and scattering properties simultaneously. By introducing phase measurements, however, the number of non-unique solutions can be minimized. Figure 5(b) shows the error map of phase measurements for the same range of optical properties. In this case, the optical property combinations leading to identical boundary data lie within a much more localized region. By combining the two data types, however, Fig. 5(c), the solution can converge on a smaller range of optical properties that lead to the perturbed boundary data.

_{s}and g, are also shown in Fig. 7 . Figure 7(a), shows a large band of equivalent combinations of the two parameters for log amplitude data. The error in phase data actually shows two large regions of non-unique optical property combinations. The band of equivalent combinations in the amplitude error map is parallel to one of the bands in the phase error map. As such, even when combining the two data types, a large band of equivalent combinations still exists, Fig. 7(c), and therefore, even with both phase and amplitude data, it is not possible to distinguish between changes due to

### 3.3 Uniqueness with the introduction of higher order terms

_{N}approximations introduces a number of new variables, μ

_{an}, which are defined as in Eq. (2). These higher ordered absorption coefficients are dependent on both μ

_{s}and g and as such, may make it possible to separate the effects due to changes in the two parameters, if it is assumed that the composite moments of the boundary data can be measured.

_{an}for n = 1:4 (as available for SP

_{5}) were calculated using optical properties of μ

_{a}= 0.01 mm

^{−1}, μ

_{s}= 20 mm

^{−1}and g = 0.5 as a reference. The values of μ

_{an}were then re-calculated with values of the scattering coefficient ranging from 1mm

^{−1}to 40mm

^{−1}and the anisotropy factor ranging from 0.1 to 0.9.

_{a1}and those calculated for each combination of scattering coefficient and anisotropy factor. There is a large band of optical property combinations for which the residual falls to zero and therefore result in the same value of μ

_{a1}. Figure 8(b) shows the same differences between values of μ

_{a2}. There is still a large number of scattering coefficient / anisotropy factor combinations that lead to the same value in this case, although slightly smaller than for μ

_{a1}. Figures 8(c)-(d) show similar plots for μ

_{a3}and μ

_{a4}respectively. It can be seen that as higher order moments of absorption are considered, the number of scattering coefficient / anisotropy factor combinations leading to the same value reduces, but does not converge to a particular combination. As such, the scattering coefficient and anisotropy factors cannot be simultaneously identified.

### 3.4 Multi-parameter image reconstruction using the SP_{N} approximation

_{N}based image reconstruction algorithms were developed for N = 1, 3, 5 and 7 using the modified Tikhonov minimization method. Test boundary data was generated using the same circular geometry, Fig. 1, with μ

_{a}= 0.01 mm

^{−1}, μ

_{s}= 10 mm

^{−1}, g = 0.9 and n = 1.33. A highly absorbing anomaly, with μ

_{a}= 0.02 mm

^{−1}and a highly scattering anomaly with μ

_{s}= 20 mm

^{−1}, were inserted into the mesh as shown in Fig. 9 . Both anomalies have the same anisotropic factor and refractive index as the background.

_{N}reconstruction algorithms (for N = 1, 3, 5 and 7) was capable of reconstructing different optical properties, depending on the order N. In order to test the capability of each of the SP

_{N}models, the optical properties listed in Table 1 were reconstructed, and from these, values of μ

_{a}and μ

_{s}were extracted. For the inverse model, the same mesh as the forward model was used without added noise to ensure that any errors in the reconstructed optical maps were

*only*due to the complexity of the higher ordered approximations. Each of the algorithms were allowed to continue until there was less than a 0.1% change in successive iterations. The initial regularization parameter λ (Eq. (5) for all algorithms was set to 10 times the maximum diagonal of the matrix J

^{T}J and was reduced by a factor of 10

^{0.25}at each iteration [22

22. H. Dehghani, M. E. Eames, P. K. Yalavarthy, S. C. Davis, S. Srinivasan, C. M. Carpenter, B. W. Pogue, and K. D. Paulsen, “Near Infrared Optical Tomography using NIRFAST: Algorithms for Numerical Model and Image Reconstruction Algorithms,” Communications in Numerical Methods in Engineering (2008).

_{1}based reconstruction algorithm and SP

_{1}forward data. The location of the two anomalies has been accurately reconstructed. The background optical properties have been accurately recovered although the values of the two anomalies have been over-estimated. The reconstructed image shows a maximum absorption coefficient of 0.0249 mm

^{−1}and a maximum scattering coefficient of 23.9 mm

^{−1}. The SP

_{1}reconstruction required 32 iterations at 3.1 second per iteration to recover the two relevant unknowns.

_{5}model (using SP

_{5}data) is shown in Fig. 10(c). In this case, the optical properties have again been overestimated with a maximum absorption coefficient of 0.0224mm

^{−1}and a maximum scattering coefficient of 21.4mm

^{−1}. The cross talk between the absorption and scattering images is still present. The SP

_{5}reconstruction required 34 iterations at 54 second per iteration to recover the six relevant unknowns.

_{7}model (using SP

_{7}data), Fig. 10(d) contains artifact throughout the domain. The location of the highly absorbing target has been recovered with poor size and contrast accuracy. The reconstruction failed to recover the highly scattering target. It is likely that the failure of the SP

_{7}reconstruction is due to the highly under-determined nature of the problem. The SP

_{7}model requires 8 unique variables to be calculated at each node, i.e. 14280 unknowns, based on just 1920 boundary measurements. The SP

_{7}reconstruction required 20 iterations at 52 second per iteration to recover the eight relevant unknowns.

### 3.5 Multi-parameter image reconstruction and hard priori information

41. H. Dehghani, B. W. Pogue, J. Shudong, B. Brooksby, and K. D. Paulsen, “Three-dimensional optical tomography: resolution in small-object imaging,” Appl. Opt. **42**(16), 3117–3128 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

_{N}methods with N = 1, 3 and 5. The SP

_{7}model has been omitted from further studies as the increase in accuracy over the SP

_{5}model has been shown to be very small and neglectable [35

35. A. D. Klose and E. W. Larsen, “Light transport in biological tissue based on the simplified spherical harmonics equations,” J. Comput. Phys. **220**(1), 441–470 (2006). [CrossRef]

_{5}reconstruction (when using SP

_{5}forward data) to accurately recover both targets. This is due to the vast reduction in the number of unknowns from 6 times the number of nodes (10710) to 6 times the number of regions (18). The same findings (not shown) were found for SP

_{1}and SP

_{3}cases.

### 3.6 Diffusion based image reconstruction using the SP_{N} approximation

_{N}approximations, Eqs. (1)(a)-(d), are based on composite moments of fluence with the total flux calculated using Eq. (2). The SP

_{N}reconstruction algorithms introduced so far were therefore based on various moments of the phase and amplitude boundary data which attempted to recover all moments of absorption and scattering coefficients. In practice, however, there are no experimental methods to easily measure the angular components of amplitude and phase and so image reconstructions must be based on total values of fluence. A new reconstruction algorithm was therefore developed that used the SP

_{5}model but only required measurements of phase and amplitude as available from the total fluence and not composite moments.

_{5}forward model to calculate the composite moments of fluence. The total fluence is then calculated using Eq. (3). The Jacobian is then constructed using Eqs. (8a) and (8b) where log of amplitude and absolute phase are extracted from the calculated total fluence. By eliminating the composite moments of fluence, however, it is only possible to reconstruct for μ

_{a}. and μ

_{s}(assuming g = 0.9). This new reconstruction algorithm is tested using SP

_{5}forward data and the resulting optical map is shown in Fig. 12(a) . The reconstruction has performed well recovering the optical parameters within 10% of the target values. For comparison, the same forward data is also used to reconstruct optical parameters using the DA based algorithm, Fig. 12(b). In this case, the target values have been over-estimated and boundary artifact has been introduced, indicating the maximum errors seen from high order model mismatch, is as expected near the source / detector positions, which lead to image inaccuracy and artifacts.

## 4. Discussions and conclusions

_{7}and it is shown that the sensitivity of measured boundary data for changes in the anisotropy factor are many orders of magnitude lower than those of absorption and scattering coefficients. It is also shown that the sensitivity to both scattering coefficient anisotropy factor is highly localized to the regions adjacent to the source and detector (Figs. 2 and 3). This suggests that beyond a few scattering lengths, the light distribution is fully diffuse and as such, distant changes in scattering and anisotropy factors have little effect on measured data. Although it is possible to normalize the sensitivity maps prior to use in image reconstruction [42

42. M. E. Eames and H. Dehghani, “Wavelength dependence of sensitivity in spectral diffuse optical imaging: effect of normalization on image reconstruction,” Opt. Express **16**(22), 17780–17791 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

21. S. R. Arridge, “Optical tomography in medical imaging,” Inverse Probl. **15**(2), R41–R93 (1999). [CrossRef]

_{an}) as available using SP

_{N}models have been calculated to investigate the possibility of resolving scattering and anisotropy factors, if μ

_{an}coefficients can be measured and calculated. It is shown, Fig. 8, that even if all higher moments of the absorption coefficients can be calculated, there still exists a large range of scattering and anisotropy factors that would lead to the same μ

_{an}values, thus indicating that these cannot be easily resolved.

_{N}approximation have been developed and tested. For image reconstruction, the same FEM model as for the forward data was used and no noise was added. The inverse crime has been strictly committed, since we are concerned with the accuracy of each model in determining the unknown parameters associated with each model. Additionally, noise free data have only used to only highlight the error seen due to model mismatch, rather than the effects of noise within the data, which can show similar trends. It was shown, Fig. 10(a)-(c), that for N = 1, 3 and 5 the reconstructions performed well, with the reconstructed values being within 24% of expected values with the worse results being obtained from SP

_{1}and absorption coefficient. This accuracy could be further improved by the optimization of the regularization parameter and stopping criteria. The N = 7 model, however, failed to accurately recover the target values, Fig. 10(d). The absorption coefficient, although located, is extremely over estimated, with some cross-talk from the scattering value. The reconstructed scatter image contains high valued artifacts and can be considered inaccurate. By limiting the presented results to these larger domain, it is also worth noting that the majority of image artifacts are seen at the boundary, near the source locations, where SP

_{1}solution is known the be less accurate. It is therefore expected that the errors seen due to the lack of higher order approximations to be substantially more significant in small geometry imaging experiments. The poor performance of the SP

_{7}model was most likely due to the under-determined nature of the problem. As stated earlier, the SP

_{7}model contains 8 unique unknown variables which need to be calculated at each spatial location (FEM node), i.e. 14280 unknowns, based on just 1920 boundary measurements (240 log amplitude and 240 Phase, based on 16 co-located source and detectors and 4 composite moments of fluence). In order to eliminate the large degree of freedoms, the accuracy of the reconstruction algorithms was further improved by creating a better determined problem. This was achieved for the SP

_{1}, SP

_{3}and SP

_{5}approximations with the use of prior information. The prior information was used to identify a number of homogeneous regions, reducing the number of properties to be recovered. This simplification of the problem led to improvements in all three of the reconstructions (for N = 1, 3 and 5). Both the absorbing and scattering targets were accurately recovered by all models to within 2%, Fig. 11.

_{N}equations are based on composite moments of fluence, Eq. (2). In reality, however, experimental systems can only measure the total fluence at the boundary of the domain and so the full SP

_{N}reconstruction algorithms are of limited use in image reconstruction where all composite moments are needed. An alternative method has been proposed in which the forward models are based on absolute fluence but the Jacobian matrix was calculated using the SP

_{5}model to allow the calculation of absorption (μ

_{a}) and scattering (μ

_{s}) coefficient only. The diffusion parameter based images reconstructed from simulated SP

_{5}data whereby the Jacobian is based on either SP

_{1}or SP

_{5}, Fig. 12, indicate that although both models can be used, the higher order model is more accurate both in terms of quantitative and qualitative analysis. The target values of the test problem calculated using SP

_{5}are recovered with more accuracy as compared to the SP

_{1}based model with much less artifact. Additionally, eliminating the use of complex moments also results in decreased computation time and memory requirements.

## Acknowledgements

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11. | J. C. Hebden, A. Gibson, T. Austin, R. M. Yusof, N. Everdell, D. T. Delpy, S. R. Arridge, J. H. Meek, and J. S. Wyatt, “Imaging changes in blood volume and oxygenation in the newborn infant brain using three-dimensional optical tomography,” Phys. Med. Biol. |

12. | A. Y. Bluestone, G. Abdoulaev, C. Schmitz, R. L. Barbour, and A. H. Hielscher, “Three-dimensional optical tomography of hemodynamics in the human head,” Opt. Express |

13. | A. D. Klose and A. H. Hielscher, “Fluorescence tomography with simulated data based on the equation of radiative transfer,” Opt. Lett. |

14. | V. Ntziachristos, “Fluorescence molecular imaging,” Annu. Rev. Biomed. Eng. |

15. | E. M. Sevick-Muraca, G. Lopez, J. S. Reynolds, T. L. Troy, and C. L. Hutchinson, “Fluorescence and absorption contrast mechanisms for biomedical optical imaging using frequency-domain techniques,” Photochem. Photobiol. |

16. | G. Alexandrakis, F. R. Rannou, and A. F. Chatziioannou, “Tomographic bioluminescence imaging by use of a combined optical-PET (OPET) system: a computer simulation feasibility study,” Phys. Med. Biol. |

17. | C. H. Contag and M. H. Bachmann, “Advances in in vivo bioluminescence imaging of gene expression,” Annu. Rev. Biomed. Eng. |

18. | C. Kuo, O. Coquoz, T. L. Troy, H. Xu, and B. W. Rice, “Three-dimensional reconstruction of in vivo bioluminescent sources based on multispectral imaging,” JBO |

19. | G. Wang, W. Cong, K. Durairaj, X. Qian, H. Shen, P. Sinn, E. Hoffman, G. McLennan, and M. Henry, “In vivo mouse studies with bioluminescence tomography,” Opt. Express |

20. | H. Dehghani, S. C. Davis, and B. W. Pogue, “Spectrally resolved bioluminescence tomography using the reciprocity approach,” Med. Phys. |

21. | S. R. Arridge, “Optical tomography in medical imaging,” Inverse Probl. |

22. | H. Dehghani, M. E. Eames, P. K. Yalavarthy, S. C. Davis, S. Srinivasan, C. M. Carpenter, B. W. Pogue, and K. D. Paulsen, “Near Infrared Optical Tomography using NIRFAST: Algorithms for Numerical Model and Image Reconstruction Algorithms,” Communications in Numerical Methods in Engineering (2008). |

23. | A. H. Hielscher, A. D. Klose, and K. M. Hanson, “Gradient-based iterative image reconstruction scheme for time-resolved optical tomography,” IEEE Trans. Med. Imaging |

24. | J. Riley, H. Dehghani, M. Schweiger, S. Arridge, J. Ripoll, and M. Nieto-Vesperinas, “3D optical tomography in the presence of void regions,” Opt. Express |

25. | S. R. Arridge, H. Dehghani, M. Schweiger, and E. Okada, “The finite element model for the propagation of light in scattering media: a direct method for domains with nonscattering regions,” Med. Phys. |

26. | H. Dehghani, S. R. Arridge, M. Schweiger, and D. T. Delpy, “Optical tomography in the presence of void regions,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. |

27. | A. H. Hielscher, R. E. Alcouffe, and R. L. Barbour, “Comparison of finite-difference transport and diffusion calculations for photon migration in homogeneous and heterogeneous tissues,” Phys. Med. Biol. |

28. | J. Ripoll, M. Nieto-Vesperinas, S. R. Arridge, and H. Dehghani, “Boundary conditions for light propagation in diffusive media with nonscattering regions,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A |

29. | K. M. Case, and P. F. Zweifel, |

30. | H. B. Jiang, “Optical image reconstruction based on the third-order diffusion equations,” Opt. Express |

31. | S. Wright, M. Schweiger, and S. R. Arridge, “Reconstruction in optical tomography using the P-N approximations,” Meas. Sci. Technol. |

32. | E. D. Aydin, C. R. E. de Oliveira, and A. J. H. Goddard, “A comparison between transport and diffusion calculations using a finite element-spherical harmonics radiation transport method,” Med. Phys. |

33. | A. D. Klose, U. Netz, J. Beuthan, and A. H. Hielscher, “Optical tomography using the time-independent equation of radiative transfer — Part 1: forward model,” J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transf. |

34. | S. Cahandrasekhar, |

35. | A. D. Klose and E. W. Larsen, “Light transport in biological tissue based on the simplified spherical harmonics equations,” J. Comput. Phys. |

36. | M. Chu, K. Vishwanath, A. D. Klose, and H. Dehghani, “Light transport in biological tissue using three-dimensional frequency-domain simplified spherical harmonics equations,” Phys. Med. Biol. |

37. | G. Marquez, L. V. Wang, S. P. Lin, J. A. Schwartz, and S. L. Thomsen, “Anisotropy in the absorption and scattering spectra of chicken breast tissue,” Appl. Opt. |

38. | S. Nickell, M. Hermann, M. Essenpreis, T. J. Farrell, U. Krämer, and M. S. Patterson, “Anisotropy of light propagation in human skin,” Phys. Med. Biol. |

39. | S. R. Arridge and M. Schweiger, “Photon-measurement density functions. Part2: Finite-element-method calculations,” Appl. Opt. |

40. | S. R. Arridge and W. R. B. Lionheart, “Nonuniqueness in diffusion-based optical tomography,” Opt. Lett. |

41. | H. Dehghani, B. W. Pogue, J. Shudong, B. Brooksby, and K. D. Paulsen, “Three-dimensional optical tomography: resolution in small-object imaging,” Appl. Opt. |

42. | M. E. Eames and H. Dehghani, “Wavelength dependence of sensitivity in spectral diffuse optical imaging: effect of normalization on image reconstruction,” Opt. Express |

**OCIS Codes**

(100.3190) Image processing : Inverse problems

(170.3660) Medical optics and biotechnology : Light propagation in tissues

**ToC Category:**

Medical Optics and Biotechnology

**History**

Original Manuscript: September 25, 2009

Revised Manuscript: November 13, 2009

Manuscript Accepted: December 12, 2009

Published: December 18, 2009

**Virtual Issues**

Vol. 5, Iss. 1 *Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics*

**Citation**

Michael Chu and Hamid Dehghani, "Image reconstruction in diffuse optical tomography based on simplified spherical harmonics approximation," Opt. Express **17**, 24208-24223 (2009)

http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-17-26-24208

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