Significance: Diffuse optical spectroscopic imaging (DOSI) measures quantitative functional and molecular information in thick tissue in a noninvasive manner using near-infrared light. DOSI may be useful for diagnosis and prognosis of bone pathologies including osteosarcoma and Ewing’s sarcoma, but little is currently known about DOSI-derived parameters in bony anatomic locations where this disease occurs.
Aim: Our goal is to quantify the optical characteristics and chromophore content of bony anatomic locations of healthy volunteers and assess differences due to anatomic region, age, sex, ethnicity, race, and body fat.
Approach: Fifty-five healthy volunteers aged 4 to 72 were enrolled in the study. The optical properties and quantitative tissue concentrations of oxyhemoglobin, deoxyhemoglobin, water, and lipids were assessed at the distal humerus, distal femur, and proximal tibia. Body fat was assessed using skinfold calipers. One volunteer underwent a more comprehensive body scan from neck to foot to explore chromophore distributions within an individual. Regression analysis was used to identify the most important sources of variation in the measured data set.
Results: Statistical differences between bony locations were found for scattering, water, and lipids, but not for hemoglobin. All chromophores had statistical differences with sex, but there were no significant age-related correlations. Regression analysis revealed that body fat measured with skinfold calipers was the most important predictor of oxy-, deoxy-, total hemoglobin, and lipids. Hemoglobin and lipid levels were highly correlated (ρ ≥ 0.7) over the subject population and within the single-subject body scan.
Conclusions: DOSI can successfully measure bony anatomic sites where osteosarcomas and Ewing’s sarcomas commonly occur. Future studies of bone pathology using DOSI should account for the variation caused by anatomic region, sex, race and ethnicity, and body fat as these cause substantial variations in DOSI-derived metrics.
Diffuse optical spectroscopic imaging (DOSI) is an emerging near-infrared imaging technique that noninvasively measures quantitative functional information in thick tissue. This study aimed to assess the feasibility of using DOSI to measure optical contrast from bone sarcomas. These tumors are rare and pose technical and practical challenges for DOSI measurements due to the varied anatomic locations and tissue depths of presentation. Six subjects were enrolled in the study. One subject was unable to be measured due to tissue contact sensitivity. For the five remaining subjects, the signal-to-noise ratio, imaging depth, optical properties, and quantitative tissue concentrations of oxyhemoglobin, deoxyhemoglobin, water, and lipids from tumor and contralateral normal tissues were assessed. Statistical differences between tumor and contralateral normal tissue were found in chromophore concentrations and optical properties for four subjects. Low signal-to-noise was encountered during several subject’s measurements, suggesting increased detector sensitivity will help to optimize DOSI for this patient population going forward. This study demonstrates that DOSI is capable of measuring optical properties and obtaining functional information in bone sarcomas. In the future, DOSI may provide a means to stratify treatment groups and monitor chemotherapy response for this disease.