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Photochem Photobiol. 2001 Jan;73(1):54-63.

Porphyrin bleaching and PDT-induced spectral changes are irradiance dependent in ALA-sensitized normal rat skin in vivo.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, University of Rochester, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 648, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


Photobleaching kinetics of aminolevulinic acid-induced protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) were measured in the normal skin of rats in vivo using a technique in which fluorescence spectra were corrected for the effects of tissue optical properties in the emission spectral window through division by reflectance spectra acquired in the same geometry and wavelength interval and for changes in excitation wavelength optical properties using diffuse reflectance measured at the excitation wavelength. Loss of PpIX fluorescence was monitored during photodynamic therapy (PDT) performed using 514 nm irradiation. Bleaching in response to irradiances of 1, 5 and 100 mW cm-2 was evaluated. The results demonstrate an irradiance dependence to the rate of photobleaching vs irradiation fluence, with the lowest irradiance leading to the most efficient loss of fluorescence. The kinetics for the accumulation of the primary fluorescent photoproduct of PpIX also exhibit an irradiance dependence, with greater peak accumulation at higher irradiance. These findings are consistent with a predominantly oxygen-dependent photobleaching reaction mechanism in vivo, and they provide spectroscopic evidence that PDT delivered at low irradiance deposits greater photodynamic dose for a given irradiation fluence. We also observed an irradiance dependence to the appearance of a fluorescence emission peak near 620 nm, consistent with accumulation of uroporphyrin/coproporphyrin in response to mitochondrial damage.

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