Our aim is to reconstruct the optical parameters in a slice of a finger joint phantom for further investigations about rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Therefore, we have developed a flexible NIR scanning system in order to collect amplitude and phase delay of photon density waves in frequency-domain. A cylindrical finger joint phantom was embedded in a container of Intralipid solution due to the application of an inverse method for infinite geometry. The joint phantom was investigated by a laser beam obtaining several projections. The average optical parameters of each projection was calculated. Using different reconstruction techniques, e.g. ART and SIRT with a special projection operator, we reconstructed the optical parameters in a slice. The projection operator can be heuristically described by a photon path density function of a homogeneous media with infinite geometry. Applied to an object with an unknown distribution of optical parameters it calculates the expectation value of the investigated object. The potentials and limits of these fast reconstruction methods will be presented.© (1998) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.