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We present initial results from a new approach to optical mammography in which the patient lies with her uncompressed breast suspended in a cup filled with a tissue-equivalent liquid. Data are acquired using a 32 channel time-resolved optical tomography system, from which images of blood volume and oxygenation are reconstructed. To date, we have imaged twelve patients with lesions (eight malignant, four benign). In eight cases the lesion was the dominant feature in the image, and in three of the remaining four patients the lesion was clearly identifiable. Initial results confirm that malignant tumors commonly appear as regions of anomalously high absorption, and sometimes of higher than average scatter. These encouraging results suggest that optical mammography of the uncompressed breast may provide a practical alternative to other approaches which is clinically acceptable and provides full 3D localization. © 2006 Optical Society of America.

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