Optical tomography is being developed as a means of detecting and specifying disease in the adult female breast. A 32-channel time-resolved system and a liquid-coupled interface were used to collected data from 49 patient-volunteers, with various pathological conditions. A non-linear image reconstruction algorithm (TOAST) was used to generate images of scatter, blood volume, and oxygen saturation. Two assessors were trained to interpret optical images using images of six patients with basic clinical information. They were then presented with images from a further twelve patients, also with basic diagnostic information. For this set, the assessors achieved a sensitivity of 100%, and a specificity of 75%. Finally, the assessors examined images from a further twenty nine patients without any clinical information, and they attempted to identify the location and type of lesion for each image. Overall the sensitivity was 85.8% and the specificity 66.8%. Tumours were more readily detected and identified than fibroadenomas and other benign lesions.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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