6 March 2009 Dynamic characterization for tumor- and deformation-induced thermal contrasts on breast surface: a simulation study
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Understanding the complex relationship between the thermal contrasts on the breast surface and the underlying physiological and pathological factors is important for thermogram-based breast cancer detection. Our previous work introduced a combined thermal-elastic modeling method with improved ability to simultaneously characterize both elastic-deformation-induced and tumor-induced thermal contrasts on the breast. In this paper, the technique is further extended to investigate the dynamic behaviors of the breast thermal contrasts during cold stress and thermal recovery procedures in the practice of dynamic thermal imaging. A finite-element method (FEM) has been developed for dynamic thermal and elastic modeling. It is combined with a technique to address the nonlinear elasticity of breast tissues, as would arise in the large deformations caused by gravity. Our simulation results indicate that different sources of the thermal contrasts, such as the presence of a tumor, and elastic deformation, have different transient time courses in dynamic thermal imaging with cold-stress and thermal-recovery. Using appropriate quantifications of the thermal contrasts, we find that the tumor- and deformation-induced thermal contrasts show opposite changes in the initial period of the dynamic courses, whereas the global maxima of the contrast curves are reached at different time points during a cold-stress or thermal-recovery procedure. Moreover, deeper tumors generally lead to smaller peaks but have larger lags in the thermal contrast time course. These findings suggest that dynamic thermal imaging could be useful to differentiate the sources of the thermal contrast on breast surface and hence to enhance tumor detectability.
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Li Jiang, Li Jiang, Wang Zhan, Wang Zhan, Murray H. Loew, Murray H. Loew, } "Dynamic characterization for tumor- and deformation-induced thermal contrasts on breast surface: a simulation study", Proc. SPIE 7262, Medical Imaging 2009: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging, 72621C (6 March 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.812499; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.812499

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