Assessment of oral premalignancy using elastic scattering spectroscopy

Oral Oncol. 2006 Apr;42(4):343-9. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2005.08.008.


Optical spectroscopy systems have been involved in various clinical fields; however the main interest is still in the diagnosis of premalignant/malignant lesions. The aim of this study was to compare findings of Elastic Scattering Spectroscopy (ESS) with histopathology of oral tissues to see if this technique could be used as an adjunct or alternative to histopathology in identifying dysplasia. The technique involves the use of Mie scattering and is a simple non-invasive method of tissue interrogation. Twenty-five oral sites from 25 patients who presented with oral leukoplakia were examined by ESS using a pulsed xenon-arc lamp. Surgical biopsies were acquired from each of the examination sites. The results of the acquired spectra were then compared with histopathology. Two sets of spectra were obtained, and by using a linear discriminant analysis, a sensitivity of 72% and a specificity of 75% were obtained. These results are promising and could suggest that ESS may be able to identify dysplasia in oral tissues. To prove the usefulness of the ESS in dysplasia detection in oral tissues conclusively, a larger body of data is needed. We aim to continue this study to obtain more data in an attempt to increase the accuracy of the technique. Large, multi-centre trails are needed for each anatomical site, in order to gather more information about the differences between normal and dysplastic tissue.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukoplakia, Oral / diagnosis*
  • Leukoplakia, Oral / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • ROC Curve
  • Scattering, Radiation
  • Spectrum Analysis / methods*