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Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2010 Jan;48(1):18-25. doi: 10.1016/j.bjoms.2009.04.019. Epub 2009 Sep 1.

In vitro examination of suspicious oral lesions using optical coherence tomography.

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  • 1Head & Neck Centre, University College London Hospital, London, United Kingdom. waseem


We compared findings of optical coherence tomography (OCT) with histopathological results of suspicious oral lesions to assess the feasibility of using OCT to identify malignant tissue. Thirty-four oral lesions from 27 patients had swept-source frequency-domain OCT. Four variables were assessed (changes in keratin, epithelial, and sub-epithelial layers, and identification of the basement membrane) and from this we calculated whether or not there were architectural changes. These data were then compared with histopathological results. Two clinicians, who were unaware of the clinical and histopathological diagnoses, decided whether biopsy was necessary. The basement membrane was recognised in only 15 oral lesions. OCT could identify diseased areas but could not provide a diagnosis or differentiate between lesions. The two clinicians, who recommended biopsy agreed in all cases. This pilot study confirms the feasibility of using OCT to identify architectural changes in malignant tissues.

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