Introduction: The rate of PpIX fluorescence photobleaching is routinely used as a dose metric for ALA-PDT. Diffuse reflection spectroscopy is often used to account for variations in tissue optical properties at the photosensitizer excitation and emission bands. It can be used to quantify changes in vascular parameters, such as blood volume fraction and saturation, and can aid understanding of tissue response to PDT. The volume and(/or) depth over which these signals are acquired are critical. The aim of this study is to use quantitative reflectance spectroscopy (DPS) to correct fluorescence for changes in tissue optical properties and monitor PDT. Materials & Methods: ALA was topically applied to hairless mice skin and the incubated spot was treated with PDT according to fractionated illumination schemes. DPS measurements of vascular parameters and optical properties were performed directly before and after illumination. Both the differential signal, delivery-and-collection-fiber signal and the collection fiber signal, which all probe different measurement volumes, are analyzed. Results & Conclusions: Analysis of DPS measurements shows that at the depth where most fluorescence originates, there is almost no blood present. During PDT vascular parameters at this depth stay constant. In more oxygenated layers of the tissue, the optical properties do change during PDT, suggesting that only a small part of PpIX fluorescence originates from the interesting depths where vascular response occurs. Correcting fluorescence emission spectra for optical changes at specific depths and not for the total of changes in a larger volume, as is usually done now, can improve PpIX photobleaching based treatment monitoring.

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van Leeuwen- van Zaane, F, Middelburg, T.A, de Bruijn, H.S, van der Ploeg-van den Heuvel, A, de Haas, E.R.M, Sterenborg, H.J.C.M, … Robinson, D.J. (2009). Correction of fluorescence for depth-specific optical and vascular properties using reflectance and differential path-length spectroscopy during PDT. doi:10.1117/12.822946