Classification of breast tissue using a laboratory system for small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS)

S. Sidhu, G. Falzon, S. A. Hart, J. G. Fox, R. A. Lewis, K. K.W. Siu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Structural changes in breast tissue at the nanometre scale have been shown to differentiate between tissue types using synchrotron SAXS techniques. Classification of breast tissues using information acquired from a laboratory SAXS camera source could possibly provide a means of adopting SAXS as a viable diagnostic procedure. Tissue samples were obtained from surgical waste from 66 patients and structural components of the tissues were examined between q = 0.25 and 2.3 nm-1. Principal component analysis showed that the amplitude of the fifth-order axial Bragg peak, the magnitude of the integrated intensity and the full-width at half-maximum of the fat peak were significantly different between tissue types. A discriminant analysis showed that excellent classification can be achieved; however, only 30% of the tissue samples provided the 16 variables required for classification. This suggests that the presence of disease is represented by a combination of factors, rather than one specific trait. A closer examination of the amorphous scattering intensity showed not only a trend of increased scattering intensity with disease severity, but also a corresponding decrease in the size of the scatterers contributing to this intensity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6779-6791
Number of pages13
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


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