Autofluorescence detection of tumors in the human lung - spectroscopical measurements in situ, in an in vivo model and in vitro
To detect bronchial carcinoma by autofluorescence, we measured the spectra of tumor and normal tissue in situ, in an in vivo model and in vitro by fiber optic spectrometer and two-dimensional resolved microspectroscopy. The in situ measurements were performed in bronchi of nine patients with squamous cell carcinoma during regular bronchoscopy with autofluorescence assistance. The fluorescence was monitored with a fiber optical spectrometer under blue light excitation (lambda=405nm). In an in vivo model, the resected lobe of a lung was perfused under physiological conditions. Tumorous and normal tissues were examined spectroscopically during perfusion and after blood removal and substitution with formol. In another setup the wavelength dependency of autofluorescence was examined on resected parts of physiological bronchi and central bronchial carcinomas. Under the variation of the excitation from 385 to 465nm the autofluorescence response was monitored with a fiber optic spectrometer. For investigation of the origin of autofluorescence, two-dimensional resolved spectroscopy was performed with the SpectraCube system on several sections of tumor and normal tissues All measurements, performed in vivo, in the in vivo model and in vitro agreed, that the main difference of the autofluorescence between tumor and normal bronchus tissue is the intensity of the fluorescences' main peak at 505nm. The signal on tumor tissue is in all cases significantly lower than that of normal tissue. The shape of the autofluorescence peaks is in healthy and carcinoma tissue approximately the same with two characteristic minima at 540 and 580nm. After the preparation with formaldehyde those minima disappeared from the spectra. A comparison with the absorption spectra of hemoglobin showed, that the variation of the spectra may be due to the blood content in the tissue. Two-dimensional spatially resolved spectroscopy showed, that the lower intensity of fluorescence in tumor tissue is due to the irregular and low-concentrated formation of fluorescent structures, which seen to be the elastic structures of bronchial tissue.