We have deployed a recently completed spectroscopic electrical impedance tomography (EITS) imaging system in a small series of women (13 participants accrued to date) in order to investigate the feasibility of delivering EITS breast examinations on a routine basis. Hardware is driven with sinusoidally varying spatial patterns of applied voltage delivered to 16 electrodes over the 10 kHz to 1 MHz spectral range using a radially translating interface which couples the electrodes to the breast through direct contact. Imaging examinations have consisted of the acquisition of multi-channel measurements at ten frequencies on both breasts. Participants lie prone on an examination table with the breast to be imaged pendant in the electrode array that is located below the table. Examinations were comfortable and easy to deliver (about 10 minutes per breast including electrode-positioning time). Although localized near-surface electrode artefacts are evident in the acquired images, several findings have emerged. Permittivity images have generally been more informative than their conductivity counterparts, except in the case of fluid-filled cysts. Specifically, the mammographically normal breast appears to have characteristic absolute EITS permittivity and conductivity images that emerge across subjects. Structural features in the EITS images have correlated with limited clinical information available on participants with benign and malignant abnormality, cysts and scarring from previous lumpectomy and follow-up radiation therapy. Several cases from this preliminary experience are described.
- Breast cancer
- Electrical impedance imaging
- Electrical impedance spectroscopy
- Electrical impedance tomography
- Tissue electrical properties