In vivo continuous-wave optical breast imaging enhanced with Indocyanine Green

Med Phys. 2003 Jun;30(6):1039-47. doi: 10.1118/1.1573791.


We investigate the uptake of a nontargeted contrast agent by breast tumors using a continuous wave diffuse optical tomography apparatus. The instrument operates in the near-infrared spectral window and employs 16 sources and 16 detectors to collect light in parallel on the surface of the tumor-bearing breast (coronal geometry). In our protocol an extrinsic contrast agent, Indocyanine Green (ICG), was injected by bolus. Three clinical scenarios with three different pathologies were investigated. A two-compartment model was used to analyze the pharmacokinetics of ICG and preprocess the data, and diffuse optical tomography was used for imaging. Localization and delineation of the tumor was achieved in good agreement with a priori information. Moreover, different dynamical features were observed for differing pathologies. The malignant cases exhibited slower rate constants (uptake and outflow) compared to healthy tissue. These results provide further evidence that in vivo pharmacokinetics of ICG in breast tumors may be a useful diagnostic tool for differentiation of benign and malignant pathologies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnosis
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / metabolism
  • Coloring Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Computer Simulation
  • Contrast Media / pharmacokinetics
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Fibroadenoma / diagnosis
  • Fibroadenoma / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Indocyanine Green / pharmacokinetics*
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Models, Biological*
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Tomography, Optical / instrumentation*
  • Tomography, Optical / methods*


  • Coloring Agents
  • Contrast Media
  • Indocyanine Green