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Photochem Photobiol. 1995 Nov;62(5):906-13.

Distribution of 5-aminolevulinic acid-induced porphyrins in noduloulcerative basal cell carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Norwegian Radium Hospital, Montebello, Oslo, Norway.


Microscopic fluorescence photometry incorporating a light-sensitive thermo-electrically cooled charge-coupled device (CCD) camera was employed to investigate the fluorescence distribution of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA)-induced porphyrins in 22 patients with a total number of 52 noduloulcerative basal cell carcinomas (BCC) after topical ALA application with or without dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO)/ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) or after intravenous administration of ALA. Both localization patterns and amounts of ALA-induced porphyrins in the BCC were studied. The ALA-induced porphyrins were localized only in the superficial layers of the noduloulcerative BCC lesions after topical application of 20% ALA alone for 3 h. However, both the penetration of ALA into deep lesions and the production of the ALA-induced porphyrin fluorescence were increased after topical administration of 20% ALA and 20% DMSO/4% EDTA for 3 h. Prior treatment with 99% DMSO for 15 min further enhanced the ALA penetration into the BCC lesions after topical application of the ALA/DMSO/EDTA mixture and produced more ALA-induced porphyrins by a factor of about three compared with those treated with ALA alone. The penetration of ALA into the deep BCC lesions could also be increased by prolonging the time of topical application of 20% ALA/4% EDTA to 29-48 h (without DMSO). Intravenous injection of ALA led to a more homogeneous distribution of the ALA-derived porphyrins in the whole noduloulcerative BCC lesions.

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