Deep tissue volume imaging of birefringence through fibre-optic needle probes for the delineation of breast tumour

M. Villiger, Dirk Lorenser, Robert A. McLaughlin, Bryden C. Quirk, Rodney W. Kirk, B.E. Bouma, David D. Sampson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Identifying tumour margins during breast-conserving surgeries is a persistent challenge. We have previously developed miniature needle probes that could enable intraoperative volume imaging with optical coherence tomography. In many situations, however, scattering contrast alone is insufficient to clearly identify and delineate malignant regions. Additional polarization-sensitive measurements provide the means to assess birefringence, which is elevated in oriented collagen fibres and may offer an intrinsic biomarker to differentiate tumour from benign tissue. Here, we performed polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography through miniature imaging needles and developed an algorithm to efficiently reconstruct images of the depth-resolved tissue birefringence free of artefacts. First ex vivo imaging of breast tumour samples revealed excellent contrast between lowly birefringent malignant regions, and stromal tissue, which is rich in oriented collagen and exhibits higher birefringence, as confirmed with co-located histology. The ability to clearly differentiate between tumour and uninvolved stroma based on intrinsic contrast could prove decisive for the intraoperative assessment of tumour margins.
Original languageEnglish
Article number28771
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

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