We report an automated differentiation model for classifying malignant tumor, fibroadipose, and stroma in human breast tissues based on polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT). A total of 720 PS-OCT images from 72 sites of 41 patients with H&E histology-confirmed diagnoses as the gold standard were employed in this study. The differentiation model is trained by the features extracted from both one standard OCT-based metric (i.e., intensity) and four PS-OCT-based metrics (i.e., phase difference between two channels (PD), phase retardation (PR), local phase retardation (LPR), and degree of polarization uniformity (DOPU)). Further optimized by forward searching and validated by leave-one-site-out-crossvalidation (LOSOCV) method, the best feature subset was acquired with the highest overall accuracy of 93.5% for the model. Furthermore, to show the superiority of our differentiation model based on PS-OCT images over standard OCT images, the best model trained by intensityonly features (usually obtained by standard OCT systems) was also obtained with an overall accuracy of 82.9%, demonstrating the significance of the polarization information in breast tissue differentiation. The high performance of our differentiation model suggests the potential of using PS-OCT for intraoperative human breast tissue differentiation during the surgical resection of breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3021-3036
Number of pages16
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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