Time-resolved reflectance and transmittance spectroscopy was applied to measure in vivo the absorption and transport scattering spectra of the female breast from 610 to 1010 nm. Three measurement configurations were used to probe different breast regions, and data were collected two or three times in each of the five phases of the menstrual cycle. The absorption spectra were best-fitted with a linear combination of the spectra of the main tissue constituents (water, lipids, oxy- and deoxyhemoglobin). This allowed us to evaluate percentage contents of water and lipids, total hemoglobin content and hemoglobin oxygen saturation. The scattering spectra were interpreted with a function derived from Mie theory, providing information on the density and average size of the tissue scatterers. Significant changes in the estimated variables were observed with measurement geometry, reflecting the heterogeneous nature of the breast, and with time, in agreement with expected physiological changes over the menstrual cycle.
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Vol. 72 • No. 3