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Published June 15, 2018 | Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Single-breath-hold photoacoustic computed tomography of the breast


We have developed a single-breath-hold photoacoustic computed tomography (SBH-PACT) system to reveal detailed angiographic structures in human breasts. SBH-PACT features a deep penetration depth (4 cm in vivo) with high spatial and temporal resolutions (255 µm in-plane resolution and a 10 Hz 2D frame rate). By scanning the entire breast within a single breath hold (~15 s), a volumetric image can be acquired and subsequently reconstructed utilizing 3D back-projection with negligible breathing-induced motion artifacts. SBH-PACT clearly reveals tumors by observing higher blood vessel densities associated with tumors at high spatial resolution, showing early promise for high sensitivity in radiographically dense breasts. In addition to blood vessel imaging, the high imaging speed enables dynamic studies, such as photoacoustic elastography, which identifies tumors by showing less compliance. We imaged breast cancer patients with breast sizes ranging from B cup to DD cup, and skin pigmentations ranging from light to dark. SBH-PACT identified all the tumors without resorting to ionizing radiation or exogenous contrast, posing no health risks.

Additional Information

© 2018 The Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Published: 15 June 2018. Data availability: All data are available within the Article and Supplementary Files, or available from the authors upon request. The authors would like to thank Xi Li and Ruth Holdener for useful discussions and patient recruitment. The authors are grateful to James Linders, Terence T.W. Wong, and Xiaohua Feng for technical support. They also thank Dr. Lily Lai and Professor James Ballard for close reading of the paper. This work was sponsored by the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants DP1 EB016986 (NIH Director's Pioneer Award), R01 CA186567 (NIH Director's Transformative Research Award), and R01 EB016963. Author Contributions: L.V.W., K.M., and L.L. conceived and designed the study. L.L., J.S., and K.M. constructed the hardware system. J.S. and L.Li constructed the control program. P.H. developed the software system and the reconstruction algorithm. L.L. and R.Z. performed the experiments. P.H. and L.L. analyzed the data. C.M.A. guided the patient study. L.V.W. supervised the study. All authors wrote the manuscript. Competing interests: L.V.W. has a financial interest in Microphotoacoustics, Inc., CalPACT, LLC, and Union Photoacoustic Technologies, Ltd., which, however, did not support this work. K.M. has a financial interest in Microphotoacoustics, Inc. The remaining authors declare no competing interests.

Attached Files

Published - s41467-018-04576-z.pdf

Supplemental Material - 41467_2018_4576_MOESM1_ESM.pdf

Supplemental Material - 41467_2018_4576_MOESM2_ESM.pdf

Supplemental Material - 41467_2018_4576_MOESM3_ESM.mp4

Supplemental Material - 41467_2018_4576_MOESM4_ESM.mp4

Supplemental Material - 41467_2018_4576_MOESM5_ESM.mp4

Supplemental Material - 41467_2018_4576_MOESM6_ESM.mp4


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August 19, 2023
October 18, 2023