In vivo visualization of prostate brachytherapy seeds with photoacoustic imaging

Muyinatu A. Lediju Bell, Nathanael P. Kuo, Danny Y. Song, Jin U. Kang, Emad M. Boctor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


We conducted a canine study to investigate the in vivo feasibility of photoacoustic imaging for intraoperative updates to brachytherapy treatment plans. A fiber coupled to a 1064-nm Nd:YAG laser was inserted into high-dose-rate brachytherapy needles, which diffused light spherically. These needles were inserted through the perineum into the prostate for interstitial light delivery and the resulting acoustic waves were detected with a transrectal ultrasound probe. Postoperative computed tomography images and ex vivo photoacoustic images confirmed seed locations. Limitations with insufficient light delivery were mitigated with short-lag spatial coherence (SLSC) beamforming, providing a 10-20 dB contrast improvement over delay-and-sum (DAS) beamforming for pulse energies ranging from 6.8 to 10.5 mJ with a fiber-seed distance as large as 9.5 mm. For the same distance and the same range of energy densities, signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) were similar while the contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) was higher in SLSC compared to DAS images. Challenges included visualization of signals associated with the interstitial fiber tip and acoustic reverberations between seeds separated by ≤2 mm. Results provide insights into the potential for clinical translation to humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number126011
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • brachytherapy
  • dynamic dosimetry
  • image-guided intervention
  • intraoperative treatment planning
  • optoacoustic imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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