Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 27–33 | Cite as

Autofluorescence imaging in recurrent oral squamous cell carcinoma

  • Martin ScheerEmail author
  • Juliana Fuss
  • Mehmet Ali Derman
  • Matthias Kreppel
  • Jörg Neugebauer
  • Daniel Rothamel
  • Uta Drebber
  • Joachim E. Zoeller
Original Article


The survival of patients with oral cancer is decreased by locoregional recurrence after an initial multimodal treatment. In order to identify lesions in the oral cavity for a possible recurrence, clinical evaluation as well as MRI or CT scanning is advised. The evaluation of mucosa lesions is hampered by changes related to radio- and chemotherapy as well as reconstruction with tissue flaps. Several techniques for easier identification of tissue abnormalities in the oral cavity have been advocated as adjuncts in order to facilitate identification. Especially methods using altered tissue fluorescence have gained much interest during the last decade. The aim of our prospective study was to evaluate fluorescence properties of undiagnosed mucosa lesions with the VELscope device in patients with multimodal treated oral cancer prior to histological confirmation. In total, 41 patients with a history of oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) (19 females and 22 males) with undiagnosed mucosa lesions where included in the study. After clinical evaluation, examination and documentation using the VELscope® device were performed. Then, an incisional biopsy was performed. An autofluorescence loss indicating a malignant or dysplastic mucosa condition could be detected in six patients (14.6 %); however, only one OSCC and one SIN revealed a complete autofluorescence loss. In four patients, OSCC was present in lesions with retained autofluorescence. Sensitivity and specificity for the VELscope® examination to identify malignant oral lesions by autofluorescence were 33.3 and 88.6 %, respectively. The positive and negative predictive values were 33.3 and 88.6 %, respectively. No statistical correlation between gender and lesion appearance versus autofluorescence loss could be detected. In contrast to mucosa lesions in patients with no prior treatment, the autofluorescence evaluation with the VELscope reveals no additional information in our analysis. Accordingly, invasive biopsies as gold standard are still needed to get sufficient evidence regarding potential malignancy in patients after multimodal treatment for oral cancer.


Oral cancer Autofluorescence Prognosis Locoregional recurrence 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Scheer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Juliana Fuss
    • 2
  • Mehmet Ali Derman
    • 2
  • Matthias Kreppel
    • 2
  • Jörg Neugebauer
    • 3
  • Daniel Rothamel
    • 2
  • Uta Drebber
    • 4
  • Joachim E. Zoeller
    • 2
  1. 1.Department for Oral and Craniomaxillo and Facial Plastic SurgeryJohannes Wesling Klinikum MindenMindenGermany
  2. 2.Department for Oral and Craniomaxillo and Facial Plastic SurgeryUniversity of CologneCologneGermany
  3. 3.Dental Private Practice, Bayer, Kistler, Elbertzhagen and ColleaguesLandsberg am LechGermany
  4. 4.Department of PathologyUniversity of CologneCologneGermany

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