11 March 2015 Development of photoacoustic imaging technology overlaid on ultrasound imaging and its clinical application
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Abstract
Purpose: Photoacoustic imaging (PAI) enables one to visualize the distribution of hemoglobin and acquire a map of microvessels without using contrast agents. The purpose of our study is to develop a clinically applicable PAI system integrated with a clinical ultrasound (US) array system with handheld PAI probes providing coregistered PAI and US images. Clinical research trials were performed to evaluate the performance and feasibility of clinical value.

Materials and Methods: We developed two types of handheld PAI probes: a linear PAI probe combining a conventional linear-array US probe with optical illumination and a transrectal ultrasonography (TRUS)-type PAI probe. We performed experiments with Japanese white rabbits and conducted clinical research trials of urology and vascular medicine with the approval of the medical human ethics committee of the National Defense Medical College.

Results: We successfully acquired high-dynamic-range images of the vascular network ranging from capillaries to landmark arteries and identified the femoral vein, deep femoral vein, and great saphenous vein of rabbits. These major vessels in the rabbits groin are surrounded with microvessels connected to each other. Periprostatic microvessels were monitored during radical prostatectomy for localized prostate cancer and they were colocalized with nerve fibers, and their distribution was consistent with the corresponding PAI. The TRUS-type PAI probe clearly demonstrated the location and extent of the neurovascular bundle (NVB) better than does TRUS alone.

Conclusions: The system, which can obtain a PAI, a US image, and a merged image, was innovatively designed so that medical doctors can easily find the location without any prior knowledge or extended skills to analyze the obtained images. Our pilot feasibility study confirms that PAI could be an imaging modality useful in the screening study and diagnostic biopsy.
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Miya Ishihara, Kazuhiro Tsujita, Akio Horiguchi, Kaku Irisawa, Tomohiro Komatsu, Makoto Ayaori, Takeshi Hirasawa, Tadashi Kasamatsu, Kazuhiro Hirota, Hitoshi Tsuda, Katsunori Ikewaki, Tomohiko Asano, "Development of photoacoustic imaging technology overlaid on ultrasound imaging and its clinical application", Proc. SPIE 9323, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2015, 93232K (11 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2076456; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2076456
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