Fluorescence influence on screening decisions for oral malignant lesions

Vol. 59 No. 1, 2018


Silvana Canjau, Darinca Carmen Marilena Todea, Cosmin Sinescu, Marius Octavian Pricop, Virgil-Florin Duma

Objectives: The aim of the present study was to assess the capability of the low-cost VELscope device to visualize the tissue auto-fluorescence of potentially malignant oral lesions and to establish the diagnostic accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of this method when validating the retrieved data through the gold standard, i.e., histological examination. Patients, Materials and Methods: Eighteen patients were evaluated by conventional oral examination (COE) followed by direct visual fluorescence evaluation (DVFE) using VELscope. Areas clinically suspicious detected by COE or with positive DVFE (visual fluorescence loss) were further investigated using surgical biopsy. Results: Eight positive biopsies for malignant lesions were detected by COE and DVFE. Only one positive biopsy for a premalignant lesion was not in accordance with COE and DVFE. One lesion identified on the VELscope and COE as a non-malignant lesion was confirmed by the biopsy. Therefore, the VELscope system had a sensitivity of 94.44% and a specificity of 100% in discriminating in situ normal mucosa from carcinoma or from invasive carcinoma, compared with histology. The predictive positive value was 100% and the negative predictive value was 50%, with a 95% confidence interval (CI). Conclusions: DVFE allows for a simple and cost-effective margin determination, in order to perform the detection and screening of oral precancerous and early cancerous disorders. It was found that the VELscope system could not fully replace the histopathology procedure. Nonetheless, the study demonstrated its usefulness for clinical examination, monitoring oral lesions, and guiding the biopsy. Therefore, this method may add sensitivity to the oral tissue examination and be an effective adjunct for high-risk patients.

Corresponding author: Darinca Carmen Marilena Todea, Professor, DMD, PhD; e-mails: todea.darinca@umft.ro, carmen.todea@gmail.com

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