We investigated the effects of operator-applied force on diffuse optical spectroscopy (DOS) by integrating a force transducer into the handheld probe. Over the typical range of contact forces measured in the breasts of eight patients, absorption and reduced scattering coefficients (650 to ) variance was and . For trained operators, we observed variation in hemoglobin and variation in water and lipids. Contact force is not a significant source of variation, most likely because of a relatively wide probe surface area and the stability of the DOS method for calculating tissue optical properties.
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