Photoacoustic imaging of breast microcalcifications: A validation study with 3-dimensional ex vivo data and spectrophotometric measurement



This paper investigates whether photoacoustic imaging (PAI) can provide the visualization of microcalcifications in breast tissue. For this, the geometrical correlation between the 3-D PA images of breast microcalcifications within ex vivo specimens and the corresponding mammograms was ascertained. Also, the optical absorbance of the calcification compositions (i.e., hydroxyapatite and calcium oxalate) was measured and compared with the PA responses of the microcalcifications. The experimental results demonstrated that the PA images discriminated between the microcalcifications and the surrounding tissue, and their locations in PA images reasonably meshed with those of the microcalcifications appeared in the mammograms. Also, the change in PA signal amplitude along the laser wavelength agreed with the absorbance of hydroxyapatite associated with the relatively high potential of malignant cancers, but not calcium oxalate with only benign cases. (© 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH &Co. KGaA, Weinheim)