Volume 35, Issue 6, June 2008
Index of content:
- VISION 20/20
35(2008); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.2919078View Description Hide Description
Diffuse optical imaging (DOI) is a noninvasive optical technique that employs near-infrared(NIR) light to quantitatively characterize the optical properties of thick tissues. Although NIR methods were first applied to breast transillumination (also called diaphanography) nearly 80 years ago, quantitative DOI methods employing time- or frequency-domain photon migration technologies have only recently been used for breast imaging (i.e., since the mid-1990s). In this review, the state of the art in DOI for breast cancer is outlined and a multi-institutional Network for Translational Research in Optical Imaging (NTROI) is described, which has been formed by the National Cancer Institute to advance diffuse optical spectroscopy and imaging (DOSI) for the purpose of improving breast cancer detection and clinical management. DOSI employs broadband technology both in near-infrared spectral and temporal signal domains in order to separate absorption from scattering and quantify uptake of multiple molecular probes based on absorption or fluorescence contrast. Additional dimensionality in the data is provided by integrating and co-registering the functional information of DOSI with x-ray mammography and magnetic resonance imaging(MRI), which provide structural information or vascular flow information, respectively. Factors affecting DOSI performance, such as intrinsic and extrinsic contrast mechanisms, quantitation of biochemical components, image formation/visualization, and multimodality co-registration are under investigation in the ongoing research NTROI sites. One of the goals is to develop standardized DOSI platforms that can be used as stand-alone devices or in conjunction with MRI,mammography, or ultrasound. This broad-based, multidisciplinary effort is expected to provide new insight regarding the origins of breast disease and practical approaches for addressing several key challenges in breast cancer, including: Detecting disease in mammographically dense tissue, distinguishing between malignant and benign lesions, and understanding the impact of neoadjuvant chemotherapies.
35(2008); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.2919112View Description Hide Description
This is a review of methods, currently and potentially, available for significantly reducing x-ray exposure in medical x-ray imaging. It is stimulated by the radiation exposure implications of the growing use of helical scanning, multislice, x-ray computed tomography for screening, such as for coronary artery atherosclerosis and cancer of the colon and lungs. Screening requires high-throughput imaging with high spatial and contrast resolution to meet the need for high sensitivity and specificity of detection and classification of specific imaged features. To achieve this goal beyond what is currently available with x-ray imaging methods requires increased x-ray exposure, which increases the risk of tissue damage and ultimately cancer development. These consequences limit the utility of current x-ray imaging in screening of at-risk subjects who have not yet developed the clinical symptoms of disease. Current methods for reducing x-ray exposure in x-ray imaging, mostly achieved by increasing sensitivity and specificity of the x-ray detection process, may still have potential for an up-to-tenfold decrease. This could be sufficient for doubling the spatial resolution of x-rayCT while maintaining the current x-ray exposure levels. However, a spatial resolution four times what is currently available might be needed to adequately meet the needs for screening. Consequently, for the proposed need to increase spatial resolution, an additional order of magnitude of reduction of x-ray exposure would be needed just to keep the radiation exposure at current levels. This is conceivably achievable if refraction, rather than the currently used attenuation, of x rays is used to generate the images. Existing methods that have potential for imaging the consequences of refracted x ray in a clinical setting are (1) by imaging the edge enhancement that occurs at the interfaces between adjacent tissues of different refractive indices, or (2) by imaging the changes in interference patterns resulting from moving grids which alter the refraction of x rays, that have passed through the body, in a predictable fashion, and (3) theoretically, by an image generated from the change in time-of-flight of x-rayphotons passing through the body. Imaging phase shift or change in time-of-flight, rather than attenuation, of x-rayphotons through tissues presents formidable technological problems for whole-body 3D imaging. However, if achievable in a routine clinical setting, these approaches have the potential for greatly expanding the use of x-ray imaging for screening. This overview examines the increased contrast resolution and reduced radiation exposure that might be achievable by the above-mentioned methods.