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Authors Nichols BS, Schindler CE, Brown JQ, Wilke LG, Mulvey CS, Krieger MS, Gallagher J, Geradts J, Greenup RA, Von Windheim JA, Ramanujam N
Author Profile(s)
Journal PLoS ONE Volume: 10 Issue: 6 Pages: e0127525
Publish Date 2015
PubMed ID 26076123
PMC ID 4468201

In an ongoing effort to address the clear clinical unmet needs surrounding breast conserving surgery (BCS), our group has developed a next-generation multiplexed optical-fiber-based tool to assess breast tumor margin status during initial surgeries. Specifically detailed in this work is the performance and clinical validation of a research-grade intra-operative tool for margin assessment based on diffuse optical spectroscopy. Previous work published by our group has illustrated the proof-of-concept generations of this device; here we incorporate a highly optimized quantitative diffuse reflectance imaging (QDRI) system utilizing a wide-field (imaging area = 17 cm(2)) 49-channel multiplexed fiber optic probe, a custom raster-scanning imaging platform, a custom dual-channel white LED source, and an astronomy grade imaging CCD and spectrograph. The system signal to noise ratio (SNR) was found to be greater than 40 dB for all channels. Optical property estimation error was found to be less than 10%, on average, over a wide range of absorption (μa = 0-8.9 cm(-1)) and scattering (μs’ = 7.0-9.7 cm(-1)) coefficients. Very low inter-channel and CCD crosstalk was observed (2% max) when used on turbid media (including breast tissue). A raster-scanning mechanism was developed to achieve sub-pixel resolution and was found to be optimally performed at an upsample factor of 8, affording 0.75 mm spatially resolved diffuse reflectance images (λ = 450-600 nm) of an entire margin (area = 17 cm(2)) in 13.8 minutes (1.23 cm(2)/min). Moreover, controlled pressure application at the probe-tissue interface afforded by the imaging platform reduces repeated scan variability, providing <1% variation across repeated scans of clinical specimens. We demonstrate the clinical utility of this device through a pilot 20-patient study of high-resolution optical parameter maps of the ratio of the β-carotene concentration to the reduced scattering coefficient. An empirical cumulative distribution function (eCDF) analysis is used to reduce optical property maps to quantitative distributions representing the morphological landscape of breast tumor margins. The optimizations presented in this work provide an avenue to rapidly survey large tissue areas on intra-operative time scales with improved sensitivity to regions of focal disease that may otherwise be overlooked.

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