Optical experiments are described for measuring the attenuation characteristics of breast tissues at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. Total attenuation coefficients post mortem were measured directly in thin tissue sections. They are usually within the range from 10 to 30 mm-1, are rather higher in fat than in fibroglandular specimens and decrease with increasing wavelength. The scattering phase function is strongly forward-peaked with the mean cosine of scattering in the range from 0.85 to 0.97 and appearing more forward-peaked in fat than in fibroglandular tissue.
The reduced scattering coefficient is of the order of 1 mm-1 in all tissues. Absorption coefficients were measured indirectly in optically thick sections. They are typically between 0.1 and 0.5 mm-1 at wavelengths around 580 nm and an order of magnitude lower at 580 nm. At 850 nm and shorter wavelengths the absorption in carcinoma is significantly higher than in adjacent uninvolved tissue.
Key, H., Davies, E.R., Jackson, P.C. and Wells, P.N.T., 1991. Optical attenuation characteristics of breast tissues at visible and near-infrared wavelengths. Physics in medicine and biology, 36(5), p.579.
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