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research-article

Generation and Thermal Simulation of a Digital Model of the Female Breast in Prone Position

[+] Author and Article Information
Jose-Luis Gonzalez-Hernandez

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, 76 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623
jxg4140@rit.edu

Dr. Satish G. Kandlikar

ASME Fellow, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, 76 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623
sgkeme@rit.edu

Donnette Dabydeen

Department of Radiology, Rochester General Hospital, 1425 Portland Avenue, Rochester, NY 14621
donnette.dabydeen@rochesterregional.org

Lori Medeiros

Rochester General Breast Center, 1425 Portland Avenue, Rochester, NY 14621
lori.medeiros@rochesterregional.org

Pradyumna Phatak

Department of Medicine and Lipson Cancer Institute, Rochester General Hospital, 1425 Portland Avenue, Rochester, NY 14621
pradyumna.phatak@rochesterregional.org

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041421 History: Received March 23, 2018; Revised September 06, 2018

Abstract

Infrared breast thermography has been associated with the early detection of breast cancer. However, findings in previous studies have been inconclusive. The upright position of individuals while imaging results in errors of interpretation because it blocks the inframammary fold and alters the temperature due to contact between breast and chest wall. These errors can be avoided by imaging the breasts in prone position. Numerical simulations provide insight into thermal characteristics of the female breast with a tumor within. However, most simulations have been conducted using cubical and hemispherical breast models. We hypothesize that a breast model with the actual breast shape will provide true thermal characteristics, useful in the detection of tumors. This paper proposes a digital breast model in prone position to measure the surface temperature in the presence of breast cancer. The digital breast model is generated from sequential MRI images. This model is used to solve Pennes' bioheat equation using the Finite Volume Method. We investigated the effect of varying the tumor metabolic activity on the surface temperature profile. We compared the surface temperature profile for various tumor metabolic activities with a case without tumor. The resulting temperature rise measured on the surface at the location of the tumor was between 0.665 and 1.023 °C, detectable using modern Infrared cameras. This is the first time that numerical simulations are conducted in a model with the actual breast shape in prone position to study the surface temperature changes induced by breast cancer.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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