Time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy as a diagnostic technique of oral carcinoma: Validation in the hamster buccal pouch model

D Gregory Farwell, Jeremy D. Meier, Jesung Park, Yang Sun, Heather Coffman, Brian Poirier, Jennifer Phipps, Steve Tinling, Danny J. Enepekides, Laura Marcu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Objective: To investigate the benefit of using time-resolved, laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy for diagnosing malignant and premalignant lesions of the oral cavity. Design: The carcinogen 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) was applied to 1 cheek pouch of 19 hamsters. The contralateral pouch and the cheek pouches of 3 hamsters without DMBA exposure served as controls. Setting: University of California, Davis. Participants: Twenty-two golden/Syrian hamsters. Intervention: A nitrogen pulse laser was used to induce tissue autofluorescence between the wavelengths of 360 and 650 nm. Main Outcome Measures: Spectral intensities and time-domain measurements were obtained and compared with the histopathologic findings at each corresponding site. Results: Spectral intensities and lifetime values at 3 spectral bands (SBs; SB1=380±10 nm; SB2=460±10 nm, and SB3=635±10 nm) allowed for discrimination among healthy epithelium, dysplasia, carcinoma in situ, and invasive carcinoma. The lifetime values at SB2 were the most important when distinguishing the lesions using only time-resolved parameters. An algorithm combining spectral fluorescence parameters derived from both spectral and time-domain parameters (peak intensities, average fluorescence lifetimes, and the Laguerre coefficient [zero-order]) for healthy epithelium, dysplasia, carcinoma in situ, and invasive carcinoma provided the best diagnostic discrimination, with 100%, 100%, 69.2%, and 76.5% sensitivity and 100%, 92.2%, 97.1%, and 96.2% specificity, respectively. Conclusions: The addition of time-resolved fluorescence-derived parameters significantly improves the capability of fluorescence spectroscopy-based diagnostics in the hamster buccal pouch. This technique provides a potential noninvasive diagnostic instrument for head and neck cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-133
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Surgery

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