Using an area-illumination and area-detection scheme, we acquire fluorescence frequency domain measurements from a tissue phantom with an embedded fluorescent target and obtain tomographic reconstructions of the interior fluorescence absorption map with an adaptive finite element based scheme. The tissue phantom consisted of a clear acrylic cubic box filled with 1% Liposyn solution, while the fluorescent targets were diameter glass bulbs filled with Indocyanine Green dye solution in 1% Liposyn. Frequency domain area illumination and detection employed a planar excitation source using an expanded intensity modulated diode laser light and a gain modulated image intensified charge coupled device camera, respectively. The excitation pattern was characterized by isolating the singly scattered component with cross polarizers and was input into a dual adaptive finite element-based scheme for three dimensional reconstructions of fluorescent targets embedded beneath the phantom surface. Adaptive mesh refinement techniques allowed efficient simulation of the incident excitation light and the reconstruction of fluorescent targets buried at the depths of 1 and . The results demonstrate the first clinically relevant noncontact fluorescence tomography with adaptive finite element methods.