Combining optoacoustic (OA) imaging with ultrasound (US) enables visualisation of functional blood vasculature in breast lesions by OA to be overlaid with the morphological information of US. Here, we develop a simple OA feature set to differentiate benign and malignant breast lesions. 94 female patients with benign, indeterminate or suspicious lesions were recruited and underwent OA-US. An OA-US imaging feature set was developed using images from the first 38 patients, which contained 14 malignant and 8 benign solid lesions. Two independent radiologists blindly scored the OA-US images of a further 56 patients, which included 31 malignant and 13 benign solid lesions, with a sensitivity of 96.8% and specificity of 84.6%. Our findings indicate that OA-US can reveal vascular patterns of breast lesions that indicate malignancy using a simple feature set based on single wavelength OA data, which is therefore amenable to application in low resource settings for breast cancer management.

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