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J Biomed Opt. 2005 Sep-Oct;10(5):051601.

Noninvasive imaging of oral premalignancy and malignancy.

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University of California, Beckman Laser Institute, Irvine, California 92612, USA.


Early detection of cancer and its precursors remains the best way to ensure patient survival and quality of life. Our specific aim is to test a multimodality approach to noninvasive diagnostics of oral premalignancy and malignancy. In the hamster cheek pouch model (120 hamsters), in vivo optical coherence tomography (OCT) and optical Doppler tomography (ODT) map epithelial, subepithelial, and vascular change throughout carcinogenesis. In vivo multiwavelength multiphoton (MPM) and second-harmonic generated (SHG) fluorescence techniques provided parallel data on surface and subsurface tissue structure, specifically collagen presence and structure, cellular presence, and vasculature. Images are diagnosed by two blinded, prestandardized investigators using a scale from 0 to 6 for all modalities. After sacrifice, histopathology is evaluated on a scale of 0 to 6. Imaging data are reproducibly obtained with good accuracy. Carcinogenesis-related structural and vascular changes are clearly visible to tissue depths of 2 mm. Sensitivity (OCT/ODT alone, 71 to 88%; OCT+MPMSHG, 79 to 91%) and specificity (OCT alone, 62 to 83%; OCT+MPMSHG, 67 to 90%) compare well with conventional techniques. Our conclusions are that OCT/ODT and MPM/SHG are promising noninvasive in vivo diagnostic modalities for oral dysplasia and malignancy.

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