Implicit and explicit prior information in near-infrared spectral imaging: accuracy, quantification and diagnostic value

BW Pogue, SC Davis, F Leblond, MA Mastanduno, Hamid Dehghani, KD Paulsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)


Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) of tissue provides quantification of absorbers, scattering and luminescent agents in bulk tissue through the use of measurement data and assumptions. Prior knowledge can be critical about things such as (i) the tissue shape and/or structure, (ii) spectral constituents, (iii) limits on parameters, (iv) demographic or biomarker data, and (v) biophysical models of the temporal signal shapes. A general framework of NIRS imaging with prior information is presented, showing that prior information datasets could be incorporated at any step in the NIRS process, with the general workflow being: (i) data acquisition, (ii) pre-processing, (iii) forward model, (iv) inversion/reconstruction, (v) post-processing, and (vi) interpretation/diagnosis. Most of the development in NIRS has used ad hoc or empirical implementations of prior information such as pre-measured absorber or fluorophore spectra, or tissue shapes as estimated by additional imaging tools. A comprehensive analysis would examine what prior information maximizes the accuracy in recovery and value for medical diagnosis, when implemented at separate stages of the NIRS sequence. Individual applications of prior information can show increases in accuracy or improved ability to estimate biochemical features of tissue, while other approaches may not. Most beneficial inclusion of prior information has been in the inversion/reconstruction process, because it solves the mathematical intractability. However, it is not clear that this is always the most beneficial stage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4531-4557
Number of pages27
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of The Royal Society A Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number1955
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'Implicit and explicit prior information in near-infrared spectral imaging: accuracy, quantification and diagnostic value'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this