Background: In a previous study it is shown that for topically applied ALA-PDT, PpIX concentration correlates with vascular changes including vasoconstriction and/or vascular leakage of small vessels and arterioles in the mouse epidermis and dermis. In this study we report on vascular responses induced by ALA-PDT for different fluence rates, including both changes in vessel diameter and dynamics in RBC velocity in arterioles, imaged using intra-vital confocal microscopy in skinfold chambers in hairless mice. Our interest is in the dynamics of vascular changes in the early stages of illumination. Methods: We have determined the total PDT dose to be relatively low, 13Jcm-2, and fluence rates of 26, 65 and 130mWcm-2 were investigated. Local vascular effects occurred very soon after the start of the therapeutic illumination in ALA-PDT. Results: In this study, we did not find a significant difference between fluence rates. Arterioles were particularly sensitive to vasoconstriction during low dose PDT, often resulting in complete vasoconstriction. When we observed complete vasoconstriction, this coincided with changes in RBC velocity. Conclusion: Since the therapeutic effects of PDT are dependent on a fine balance between the need for oxygen during illumination and disruption of the vasculature, the results of the present study add to our understanding of acute vascular effects during ALA-PDT and aid our efforts to optimize PDT using porphyrin pre-cursors.

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Keywords 5-Aminolevulinc acid, Flow, Intra-vital microscopy, Red blood cell velocity, Vascular response, Vessel diameter
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Journal Photodiagnosis and Photodynamic Therapy
Van Leeuwen-Van Zaane, F, de Bruijn, H.S, van der Ploeg-van den Heuvel, A, Sterenborg, H.J.C.M, & Robinson, D.J. (2014). The effect of fluence rate on the acute response of vessel diameter and red blood cell velocity during topical 5-aminolevulinic acid photodynamic therapy. Photodiagnosis and Photodynamic Therapy, 11(2), 71–81. doi:10.1016/j.pdpdt.2014.03.012