Imaging studies of the breast comprise three principal sensing domains: structural, mechanical, and functional. Combinations of these domains can yield either additive or wholly new information, depending on whether one domain interacts with the other. In this report, we describe a new approach to breast imaging based on the interaction between controlled applied mechanical force and tissue hemodynamics. Presented is a description of the system design, performance characteristics, and representative clinical findings for a second-generation dynamic near-infrared optical tomographic breast imager that examines both breasts simultaneously, under conditions of rest and controlled mechanical provocation. The expected capabilities and limitations of the developed system are described in relation to the various sensing domains for breast imaging.
Keywords: Clinical applications, Mammography, Functional monitoring and imaging, Optical diagnostics for medicine, Pressure measurement, Tomographic image processing.