Performance Assessment of Diffuse Optical Spectroscopic Imaging Instruments in a 2-Year Multicenter Breast Cancer Trial
We present a framework for characterizing the performance of an experimental imaging technology, diffuse optical spectroscopic imaging (DOSI), in a 2-year multicenter American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) breast cancer study (ACRIN-6691). DOSI instruments combine broadband frequency-domain photon migration with time-independent near-infrared (650 to 1000 nm) spectroscopy to measure tissue absorption and reduced scattering spectra and tissue hemoglobin, water, and lipid composition. The goal of ACRIN-6691 was to test the effectiveness of optically derived imaging endpoints in predicting the final pathologic response of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC). Sixty patients were enrolled over a 2-year period at participating sites and received multiple DOSI scans prior to and during 3- to 6-month NAC. The impact of three sources of error on accuracy and precision, including different operators, instruments, and calibration standards, was evaluated using a broadband reflectance standard and two different solid tissue-simulating optical phantoms. Instruments showed <0.0010 mm−1 (10.3%) and 0.06 mm−1 (4.7%) deviation in broadband absorption and reduced scattering, respectively, over the 2-year duration of ACRIN-6691. These variations establish a useful performance criterion for assessing instrument stability. The proposed procedures and tests are not limited to DOSI; rather, they are intended to provide methods to characterize performance of any instrument used in translational optical imaging.