Visualizing breast cancer using the Twente photoacoustic mammoscope: what do we learn from twelve new patient measurements?

Opt Express. 2012 May 21;20(11):11582-97. doi: 10.1364/OE.20.011582.


We acquired images of breast malignancies using the Twente photoacoustic mammoscope (PAM), to obtain more information about the clinical feasibility and limitations of photoacoustic mammography. Results were compared with conventional imaging and histopathology. Ten technically acceptable measurements on patients with malignancies and two measurements on patients with cysts were performed. In the reconstructed volumes of all ten malignant lesions, a confined region with high contrast with respect to the background could be seen. In all malignant cases, the PA contrast of the abnormality was higher than the contrast on x-ray mammography. The PA contrast appeared to be independent of the mammographically estimated breast density and was absent in the case of cysts. Technological improvements to the instrument and further studies on less suspicious lesions are planned to further investigate the potential of PAM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / instrumentation*
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Mammography / instrumentation*
  • Microscopy / instrumentation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Photoacoustic Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity