Non-invasive measurement of the microvascular properties of non-dysplastic and dysplastic oral leukoplakias by use of optical spectroscopy
Differential Path-length Spectroscopy (DPS) was used to non-invasively determine the optical properties of oral leukoplakias in vivo. DPS yields information on microvascular parameters such as the mucosal blood content, the microvascular blood oxygenation and the average micro-vessel diameter as well as on tissue morphological parameters such as the scattering slope and scattering amplitude. DPS measurements were made on non-dysplastic and dysplastic oral leukoplakias using a novel fiber-optic probe, and were correlated to the histological outcome of biopsies taken from the same location. Our data show borderline significant increases in mucosal blood content in dysplastic lesions compared to non-dysplastic lesions, with no changes in microvascular oxygen saturation and light scattering signatures. These results suggest that dysplastic and non-dysplastic leukoplakias may be discriminated non-invasively in vivo through differences in their microvascular properties, if they can be reproducibly quantified in the presence of a variable thickness keratin layer that optically shields the mucosal layer.