VELscope helps confirm dysplastic lesions

The VELscope oral cancer screening device (LED Dental) is useful in confirming the presence of leukoplakia and erythroplakia and other oral mucosal disorders, but has difficulty discriminating between high- and low-risk lesions, according to a study in Oral Oncology (March 9, 2011).

Researchers from King's College London Dental Institute wanted to compare the accuracy of autofluorescence with that of conventional oral examination and surgical biopsy in identifying and detecting potentially malignant oral disorders.

A total of 126 patients (70 males and 56 females, mean age 58.5 years) who presented to the oral medicine clinics at King's and Guy's Hospitals with suspicious oral white and red patches were enrolled in the study. Following a complete visual and autofluorescence exam, all underwent a biopsy for histopathological assessment.

The researchers found that 70 patients had oral leukoplakia/erythroplakia, 32 had oral lichen planus, 9 had chronic hyperplastic candidiasis, 13 had frictional keratosis, and 2 had oral submucous fibrosis. Of 126 lesions, 105 (83%) showed loss of fluorescence. Following biopsy, they found that 44 had oral epithelial dysplasia (29 mild, 8 moderate, and 7 severe).

The sensitivity and specificity of autofluorescence for detecting a dysplastic lesion was 84.1% and 15.3%, respectively, the researchers noted.

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