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Oral Oncol. 2007 Sep;43(8):820-4. Epub 2006 Dec 13.

A pilot case control study on the efficacy of acetic acid wash and chemiluminescent illumination (ViziLite) in the visualisation of oral mucosal white lesions.

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Department of Oral Medicine and Pathology, School of Dentistry, The University of Queensland, Brisbane QLD 4072, Australia.


Conventional screening practice for oral lesions involves visual scrutiny of the oral tissues with the naked eye under projected incandescent or halogen illumination. Visualisation is the principal strategy used to assess patients' lesions at risk for malignant transformation; hence, any procedure which highlights such lesions should aid the clinician. The aim of this pilot study was to examine the efficacy of acetic acid wash and chemiluminescent light (ViziLite) in enhancing visualisation of oral mucosal white lesions, and its ability to highlight malignant and potentially malignant lesions. Fifty five patients referred for assessment of an oral white lesion, were prospectively screened with ViziLite, and an incisional scalpel biopsy performed for a definitive diagnosis. The size, location, ease of visibility, border distinctness, and presence of satellite lesions were recorded. The ViziLite tool enhanced intra-oral visualisation of 26 white lesions. Indeed, all lesions appeared "aceto-white", regardless of the definitive diagnosis. Examination of the oral tissues with ViziLite illumination did not change the provisional diagnosis, nor alter the biopsy site. ViziLite illumination does not discriminate between keratotic, inflammatory, malignant or potentially malignant oral mucosal white lesions and thus, a high index of suspicion, expert clinical judgment, and scalpel biopsy are still essential for proper patient care.

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