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Urology. 1998 Feb;51(2):342-5.

Spectroscopic measurement of diffuse reflectance for enhanced detection of bladder carcinoma.

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Department of Urology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.



To assess the diagnostic potential of diffuse reflectance spectroscopy for the detection of bladder carcinoma during cystoscopy. Our hypothesis is that neovasculature in neoplastic (dysplastic and malignant) regions will lead to a blood absorption "signature" that is different from that of normal tissue.


Diffuse reflectance measurements have been performed in 14 patients undergoing mucosal biopsies or transurethral resection of a bladder tumor. A quartz optical fiber was advanced through the working channel of a cystoscope and placed in gentle contact with the bladder surface. A standard cystoscopy xenon light source was used for illumination and the reflectance spectra were recorded using an optical multichannel analyzer (OMA) system. From the spectra, the relative concentrations of hemoglobin (Hb), oxyhemoglobin (HbO2), oxygen saturation (HbO2%), and the total amount of blood (arbitrary units) were calculated to assess their usefulness in differentiating between neoplastic and benign bladder areas.


The spectra of 26 bladder areas (9 malignant areas including 4 carcinomata in situ, 2 dysplastic lesions, and 15 benign areas) have been analyzed. Only the total amount of blood was a useful parameter for the differentiation between neoplastic and benign bladder areas. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of this method for neoplastic tissue were found to be 91%, 60%, 63%, and 90%, respectively.


The measurement of diffuse reflectance is a fast, simple, and noninvasive method which allows in vivo determination of bladder blood perfusion. The total blood concentration was increased in neoplastic bladder tissue, making it a tool for tissue diagnosis. The relatively low specificity is a result of inflammatory areas also exhibiting an increased total blood concentration. This pilot study encourages further studies to assess the usefulness of reflectance measurements for enhanced detection of bladder cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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