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US-localized diffuse optical tomography in breast cancer: comparison with pharmacokinetic parameters of DCE-MRI and with pathologic biomarkers



To correlate parameters of Ultrasonography-guided Diffuse optical tomography (US-DOT) with pharmacokinetic features of Dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE)-MRI and pathologic markers of breast cancer.


Our institutional review board approved this retrospective study and waived the requirement for informed consent. Thirty seven breast cancer patients received US-DOT and DCE-MRI with less than two weeks in between imaging sessions. The maximal total hemoglobin concentration (THC) measured by US-DOT was correlated with DCE-MRI pharmacokinetic parameters, which included K(trans), k ep and signal enhancement ratio (SER). These imaging parameters were also correlated with the pathologic biomarkers of breast cancer.


The parameters THC and SER showed marginal positive correlation (r = 0.303, p = 0.058). Tumors with high histological grade, negative ER, and higher Ki-67 expression ≥ 20% showed statistically higher THC values compared to their counterparts (p = 0.019, 0.041, and 0.023 respectively). Triple-negative (TN) breast cancers showed statistically higher K(trans) values than non-TN cancers (p = 0.048).


THC obtained from US-DOT and K(trans) obtained from DCE-MRI were associated with biomarkers indicative of a higher aggressiveness in breast cancer. Although US-DOT and DCE-MRI both measured the vascular properties of breast cancer, parameters from the two imaging modalities showed a weak association presumably due to their different contrast mechanisms and depth sensitivities.

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