Significance of autofluorescence for the optical demarcation of field cancerisation in the upper aerodigestive tract.

Acta oto-laryngologica(2009)

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Second primaries in the upper aerodigestive tract (UADT) are increasingly related to bad prognosis. So early detection of small cancer foci is required to improve the survival rate. Here, autofluorescence (AF) might become useful as in vivo biochemical changes of cancer metabolism can be shown by fluorescence.For more exact data on AF in cancerous lesions 32 cancer specimens of the UADT and 57 specimens of normal oral mucosa as a control group were examined by using autofluorescent microscopy and spectroscopy, the tissue being activated with light at 365 nm wavelength. Video-controlled in vivo fluorescence examinations in field cancerisation of the UADT were also investigated and compared with pathohistological findings.The intensity of AF of the connective tissue was observed to increase at the tumour border. Contrary to results in the literature, no homogeneous fluorescence gradient could be proved between marginal epithelium and the tumour itself. The brightly shining submucosal elastic fibres allowed fluorescent spectroscopic detection of the tumour margins in vitro in 71%. Even small precancerous lesions were traced in vivo mainly by keratinization when using the autofluorescence diagnostic imaging system.Our examination proved a multi-factorial genesis of autofluorescence with strong inter-individual variations. Preliminary clinical examination showed that this method can be applied as an additional tool for early detection of cancerous lesions in the UADT.
in vitro and in vivo autofluorescence,head and neck cancer
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