We present a method for reduction of image artifacts induced by the optical heterogeneities of tissue in fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) through identification and compensation of image regions that evidence propagation of emission light through thin or low-absorption tunnels in tissue. The light tunneled as such contributes to the emission image as spurious components that might substantially overwhelm the desirable fluorescence emanating from the targeted lesions. The proposed method makes use of the strong spatial correlation between the emission and excitation images to estimate the tunneled components and yield a residual image that mainly consists of the signal due to the desirable fluorescence. This residual image is further refined using a coincidence mask constructed for each excitation–emission image pair. The coincidence mask is essentially a map of the “hot spots” that occur in both excitation and emission images, as such areas are often associated with tunneled emission. In vivo studies are performed on a human colon adenocarcinoma xenograft tumor model with subcutaneous tumors and a murine breast adenocarcinoma model with aggressive tumor cell metastasis and growth in the lungs. Results demonstrate significant improvements in the reconstructions achieved by the proposed method.