Dynamic optical breast imaging: A novel technique to detect and characterize tumor vessels

Laure S. Fournier, Daniel Vanel, Alexandra Athanasiou, Wolfgang Gatzemeier, I. V. Masuykov, Anwar R. Padhani, Clarisse Dromain, Ken Galetti, Robert Sigal, Alberto Costa, Corinne Balleyguier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To prospectively determine the diagnostic accuracy of optical absorption imaging in patients with Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) 3-5 breast lesions. Materials and methods: Forty-six patients with BI-RADS classification 3 (11%), 4 (44%) or 5 (44%) lesions, underwent a novel optical imaging examination using red light to illuminate the breast. Pressure was applied on the breast, and time-dependent curves of light absorption were recorded. Curves that consistently increased or decreased over time were classified as suspicious for malignancy. All patients underwent a core or surgical biopsy. Results: Optical mammography showed a statistical difference in numbers of suspect pixels between benign (N = 12) and malignant (N = 35) lesions (respectively 1325 vs. 3170, P = 0.002). In this population, optical imaging had a sensitivity of 74%, specificity of 92%, and diagnostic accuracy of 79%. The optical signal did not vary according to any other parameter including breast size or density, age, hormonal status or histological type of lesions. Conclusion: Optical imaging is a low-cost, non-invasive technique, yielding physiological information dependent on breast blood volume and oxygenation. It appears to have a good potential for discriminating benign from malignant lesions. Further studies are warranted to define its potential role in breast cancer imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-49
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


  • Breast cancer
  • Breast tumors
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Dynamic imaging
  • Optical imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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