Colorectal cancer is the second most common malignancy diagnosed globally and the 4th leading cause of cancer mortality. Critical gaps exist in diagnostic and surveillance imaging modalities for colorectal neoplasia. We have conducted a pilot study using a real-time co-registered photoacoustic (PAT) and ultrasound (US) tomography system. A total of 23 ex vivo human colorectal tissue samples (19 colon and 4 rectum) were imaged immediately after surgical resection. These results indicate potential of using PAT/US for future cancer screening and post-treatment surveillance of colon and rectum. The image resolution of the current system is low (~ 250 μm axial resolution) due to the commercial endo-cavity ultrasound transducer array (6 MHz central frequency, 80% bandwidth). To solve the problem of image resolution, we decoded the pin configuration of a high-frequency transducer array (15 MHz central frequency, 9-18 MHz bandwidth) and adapted it to our home-made 128 channels ultrasound pulsing and receiving system to perform high-frequency PAT/US imaging. We achieved a lateral resolution of ~ 150 μm and axial resolution of ~ 120 μm. We also imaged a post-treated human rectum sample to evaluate the system performance.
Colorectal cancer is the second most common malignancy diagnosed globally. Critical gaps exist in diagnostic and surveillance imaging modalities for colorectal neoplasia. Although prior studies have demonstrated the capability of photoacoustic imaging techniques to differentiate normal from neoplastic tissue in the gastrointestinal tract, evaluation of deep tissue with a fast speed and a large field of view remains limited. To investigate the ability of photoacoustic technology to image deeper tissue, we conducted a pilot study using a real-time co-registered photoacoustic tomography (PAT) and ultrasound (US) system. A total of 23 ex vivo human colorectal tissue samples were imaged immediately after surgical resection. Co-registered photoacoustic images of malignancies showed significantly increased PAT signal compared to normal regions of the same sample. The quantitative relative total hemoglobin (rHbT) concentration computed from four optical wavelengths, the spectral features, such as the mean spectral slope, and 0.5-MHz intercept extracted from PAT and US spectral data, and image features, such as the first- and second-order statistics along with the standard deviation of the mean radon transform of PAT images, have shown statistical significance between untreated colorectal tumors and the normal tissue. Using either a logistic regression model or a support vector machine, the best set of parameters of rHbT and PAT intercept has achieved area-under-the-curve (AUC) values of 0.97 and 0.95 for both training and testing data sets, respectively, for prediction of histologically confirmed invasive carcinoma.
A multi-spectral, portable, hand-held LED based spatial frequency domain imaging system was used for ex vivo imaging pretreatment and post treatment human colon and rectal tissues. Freshly excised human colon and rectal tissue samples were imaged with the hand-held SFDI probe with 9 wavelengths extending from visible to NIR (660-950 nm). Important tumor biomarkers such as hemoglobin, scatter amplitude, scatter spectral slope, water and lipid content were quantitatively extracted from the SFDI absorption and scattering images. Significant differences were observed between the absorption as well as scattering distribution of normal, tumor and polyp tissue as well as between pretreated and post-treated tumors.
Colorectal cancer is the second most common malignancy diagnosed globally. Critical need exists for imaging and diagnosis of rectal tumors for both staging and therapeutic response evaluations. We have conducted a pilot study to image and characterize colorectal masses using a real-time co-registered photoacoustic (PAT) and ultrasound (US) system. A total of 8 tissue samples including pre- and post-treatment colorectal cancer, polyps have studied. Four different wavelengths (730, 780, 800, 830 nm) were used to illuminate the sample and a scanning stage was used to scan a large area and obtain a sequence of B-scans. For the pre-treatment colorectal cancer, photoacoustic images have shown significantly higher vascular level than neighbor benign regions of the same sample. The pre-treatment colorectal cancer PAT signal level is also higher than polyps and post-treatment colorectal cancer. Additionally, the quantitative features extracted from PAT and US power spectrum such as spectral slope, mid-band fit and zero MHz intercept have shown statistical significance between pre-treatment colorectal cancer and other 3 categories using t-test. Our initial results have demonstrated that PAT/US has a great potential to reveal tumor angiogenesis development or residual tumors after treatment.