Efficacy of the ViziLite system in the identification of oral lesions

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2007 Mar;65(3):424-6. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2006.10.055.


Purpose: Early detection of oral cancer is crucial in improving survival rate. To improve early detection, the use of a dilute acetic acid rinse and observation under a chemiluminescent light (ViziLite; Zila Pharmaceuticals, Phoenix, AZ) has been recommended. However, to date, the contributions of the individual components of the system have not been studied. The present study was done to investigate the efficacy of the individual components of the ViziLite system in providing improved visualization of early oral mucosal lesions.

Patients and methods: A total of 100 patients, 39 males and 61 females, age 18 to 93 years (mean age, 44 years), who presented to the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry for dental screening were examined. There were 58 Caucasians, 29 African-Americans, 5 Hispanics, 6 Asians, and 2 of mixed ethnicity. Thirty-five patients smoked, 53 used alcohol, and 25 both smoked and drank. After written consent, the oral cavity was examined under incandescent light for soft tissue abnormalities. After 1-minute rinse with 1% acetic acid, the mouth was re-examined for additional mucosal abnormalities. Then, the mouth was examined once again using the ViziLite system's chemiluminescent light. Any lesions detected by these 3 examinations that were clinically undiagnosable were brush biopsied (Oral CDx) for determination of cellular representation.

Results: In the original examination of the 100 patients, 57 clinically diagnosable benign lesions (eg, linea alba, leukoedema) and 29 clinically undiagnosable lesions were detected. After the rinse, 6 additional diagnosable lesions (linea alba) and 3 undiagnosable lesions were found. No additional lesions were detected with the chemiluminescent light. Of the 32 undiagnosable lesions that were brush biopsied, 2 were positive for atypical cellular characterization and warranted further investigation with a scalpel biopsy. Neither of these lesions was found to be premalignant or malignant.

Conclusion: Although the acid rinse accentuated some lesions, the overall detection rate was not significantly improved. The chemiluminescent light produced reflections that made visualization more difficult and thus was not beneficial.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Acetic Acid
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Light*
  • Luminescence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Mucosa / pathology*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / diagnosis*


  • Acetic Acid