Preliminary study of in vivo autofluorescence of nasopharyngeal carcinoma and normal tissue

Lasers Surg Med. 2000;26(5):432-40. doi: 10.1002/1096-9101(2000)26:5<432::aid-lsm2>;2-1.


Background and objective: In nasopharyngeal cancer, conventional white light endoscopy does not provide adequate information to detect the flat/small lesion and identify the margin of observable tumor. In the present study, we evaluate the potential of light-induced fluorescence spectroscopic imaging for the localization of cancerous nasopharyngeal tissue.

Study design/materials and methods: We built a multiple channel spectrometer specifically for the investigation of fluorescence collected by a conventional endoscopic system. Nasopharyngeal fluorescence were measured in vivo from 27 subjects during the routine endoscopy. The biopsy specimens for histologic analysis were taken from the tissue sites where the fluorescence were measured.

Results: Two algorithms to discriminate the nasopharyngeal carcinoma from normal tissue were created based on the good correlation between the tissue autofluorescence and histologic diagnosis. For the two-wavelength algorithm, carcinoma can be differentiated from normal tissue with a sensitivity and specificity of 93% and 92%, respectively. For the three-wavelength algorithm with compensation of variation of blood content in tissue, a sensitivity of 98% and specificity of 95% were achieved.

Conclusion: Fluorescence endoscopic imaging used with the algorithms developed in this report is an efficient method for detecting the nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Carcinoma / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma / physiopathology
  • Endoscopy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Nasopharynx / physiology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence / instrumentation*
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence / methods*