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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Advances in oral cancer detection using optical coherence tomography

  • Author(s): Jung, W
  • Zhang, J
  • Chung, J
  • Wilder-Smith, P
  • Brenner, M
  • Nelson, JS
  • Chen, Z
  • et al.

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a new modality capable of cross sectional imaging of biological tissue. Due to its many technical advantages such as high image resolution, fast acquisition time, and noninvasive capabilities, OCT is potentially useful in various medical applications. Because OCT systems can function with a fiber optic probe, they are applicable to almost any anatomic structures accessible either directly, or by endoscopy. OCT has the potential to provide a fast and noninvasive means for early clinical detection, diagnosis, screening, and monitoring of precancer and cancer. With an imaging depth range of 2-3 mm, OCT diagnostics are particularly suitable for the oral mucosa. Currently, it is difficult to detect premalignant and malignant oral lesions due to their often multifocal nature and need for repeated biopsies. The goal of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of OCT for the diagnosis of multiple stages of oral cancer progression. In this paper, we present not only conventional 2-D OCT images, but also 3-D volume images of normal and precancerous lesions. Our results demonstrate that OCT is a potential tool for cancer detection with comprehensive diagnostic images. © 2005 IEEE.

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