Appearance of breast cysts in planar geometry photoacoustic mammography using 1064-nm excitation

M. Heijblom, D. Piras, Erik Maartens, E.J.J. Huisman, F.M. van den Engh, Joost M. Klaase, Wiendelt Steenbergen, Srirang Manohar

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In the search for improved imaging modalities for detection and diagnosis of breast cancer, a high negative prediction value is also important. Photoacoustic (optoacoustic) imaging is a relatively new technique that has high potential for visualizing breast malignancies, but little is known about the photoacoustic appearance of benign lesions. In this work, we investigate the visibility of benign breast cysts in forward-mode photoacoustic mammography using 1064-nm light, as currently applied in the Twente photoacoustic mammoscope. Results from (Monte Carlo and k-wave) simulations and phantom measurements were used to interpret results from patient measurements. There was a strong agreement among the results from simulations, phantom, and patient measurements. Depending on the absorption contrast between cyst and breast tissue, cysts were visible as either one or two confined high-contrast areas representing the front and the back of the cyst, respectively. This edge enhancement is most likely the consequence of the local sudden change in the absorbed energy density and Grüneisen coefficients. Although the current forward-mode single-wavelength photoacoustic mammoscope cannot always unambiguously discriminate cysts from malignancies, this study reveals specific features of cysts compared to malignancies, which can be exploited for discrimination of the two abnormalities in future modifications of the imager
Original languageUndefined
Article number126009
Pages (from-to)126009-1-126009-11
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • METIS-300802
  • IR-89797

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