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Reduce number of breast biopsies




By combining two relatively inexpensive technologies based on sound and light waves, scientists hope to lower the rate at which women undergo breast biopsies for suspicious lesions. Results of the study on ultrasound-guided optical tomography are reported in the online edition and the August print issue of Radiology
"The goal of our study was to investigate the potential of diffuse optical tomography in the near infrared spectrum with ultrasound localization as a means of differentiating early-stage cancers from non-malignant lesions of the breast," said lead researcher Quing Zhu, Ph.D., professor of bioengineering at the University of Connecticut.



Reduce number of breast biopsies

When mammography and ultrasound cannot determine whether a suspicious breast lesion is cancerous or benign, physicians typically recommend a needle biopsy to extract samples of the suspicious tissue for laboratory testing. In current clinical practice, 70 to 80 percent of biopsies performed reveal non-malignant lesions, leading to unnecessary cost and anxiety for women.

Diffuse optical tomography is an emerging noninvasive imaging technique that measures light absorption within tissue to quantify blood content (hemoglobin level) and blood oxygen levels. Because malignant lesions have a number of more blood vessels than normal tissue, hemoglobin levels can help distinguish cancerous from non-malignant lesions.

In Dr. Zhu's study, 178 consecutive women underwent ultrasound-guided diffuse optical tomography (DOT) on a previously identified solid lesion, followed by a biopsy. The study, which included women between the ages of 21 and 89 years, was conducted between 2004 and 2008 at the University of Connecticut Health Center and Hartford Hospital, both in Hartford, Conn.

Performing ultrasound-guided DOT involves the use of a handheld probe consisting of a commercial ultrasound transducer located in the middle and an optical source and detector fibers around the periphery. Once ultrasound locates the lesion, DOT is performed by shining infrared light into the area and measuring light absorption at two optical wavelengths.

"Infrared light penetrates deep into tissue, up to four centimeters," Dr. Zhu said.

Scientists computed total hemoglobin levels from the light absorption measured at two wavelengths and correlated the measurements with biopsy results. Laboratory examination of tissue samples revealed two in situ carcinomas, 35 carcinomas that measured less than two centimeters, 24 carcinomas greater than two centimeters and 114 non-malignant lesions.

"Both maximum and average total hemoglobin levels were significantly higher in the cancerous groups than in the non-malignant group," Dr. Zhu said.

The sensitivity and specificity of the technique (92 percent and 93 percent, respectively) were greatest when evaluating cancers less than two centimeters in size.

"Based on our results, we think that ultrasound-guided diffuse optical tomography holds promise as an adjunct to diagnostic mammography and ultrasound for distinguishing early-stage invasive breast cancers from non-malignant lesions," Dr. Zhu said. "We expect this technology will be used to help radiologists evaluate small to intermediate size lesions that are harder to diagnose with conventional imaging technologies".

Ultrasound and near infrared procedures cost significantly less than magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), another technique used to evaluate suspicious breast lesions that cannot be diagnosed using mammography.

The next step in Dr. Zhu's research, which is supported by grants totaling $1.4 million from the National Institutes of Health with additional $600,000 support from the Donaghue Medical Research Foundation, is to design multi-institution clinical trials for ultrasound-guided DOT.


Posted by: Janet    Source




Did you know?
By combining two relatively inexpensive technologies based on sound and light waves, scientists hope to lower the rate at which women undergo breast biopsies for suspicious lesions. Results of the study on ultrasound-guided optical tomography are reported in the online edition and the August print issue of Radiology

Medicineworld.org: Reduce number of breast biopsies

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