Molecular targeting with exogenous near-infrared excitable fluorescent agents using time-dependent imaging techniques may enable diagnostic imaging of breast cancer and prognostic imaging of sentinel lymph nodes within the breast. However, prior to the administration of unproven contrast agents, phantom studies on clinically relevant volumes are essential to assess the benefits of fluorescence-enhanced optical imaging in humans. Diagnostic 3-D fluorescence-enhanced optical tomography is demonstrated using 0.5 to single and multiple targets differentiated from their surroundings by indocyanine green (micromolar) in a breast-shaped phantom (10-cm diameter). Fluorescence measurements of referenced ac intensity and phase shift were acquired in response to point illumination measurement geometry using a homodyned intensified charge-coupled device system modulated at 100 MHz. Bayesian reconstructions show artifact-free 3-D images (3857 unknowns) from 3-D boundary surface measurements (126 to 439). In a reflectance geometry appropriate for prognostic imaging of lymph node involvement, fluorescence measurements were likewise acquired from the surface of a semi-infinite phantom in response to area illumination by excitation light. Tomographic 3-D reconstructions (24,123 unknowns) were recovered from 2-D boundary surface measurements (3194) using the modified truncated Newton’s method. These studies represent the first 3-D tomographic images from physiologically relevant geometries for breast imaging. © 2004 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.