Optical spectroscopy and hyperspectral imaging have shown the theoretical potential to discriminate between cancerous and non-cancerous tissue with high sensitivity and specificity. To date, these techniques have not been able to be effectively translated to endoscope platforms. Hyperspectral imaging of the fluorescence excitation spectrum represents a new technology that may be well-suited for endoscopic implementation. However, the feasibility of detecting differences between normal and cancerous mucosa using fluorescence excitation-scanning hyperspectral imaging has not been evaluated. The objective of this pilot study was to evaluate the changes in the fluorescence excitation spectrum of resected specimen pairs of colorectal adenocarcinoma and normal colorectal mucosa. Patients being treated for colorectal adenocarcinoma were enrolled. Representative adenocarcinoma and normal colonic mucosa specimens were collected from each case. Specimens were flash frozen in liquid nitrogen. Adenocarcinoma was confirmed by histologic evaluation of H&E permanent sections. Hyperspectral image data of the fluorescence excitation of adenocarcinoma and surrounding normal tissue were acquired using a custom microscope configuration previously developed in our lab. Results demonstrated consistent spectral differences between normal and cancerous tissues over the fluorescence excitation spectral range of 390-450 nm. We conclude that fluorescence excitation-scanning hyperspectral imaging may offer an alternative approach for differentiating adenocarcinoma and surrounding normal mucosa of the colon. Future work will focus on expanding the number of specimen pairs analyzed and will utilize fresh tissues where possible, as flash freezing and reconstituting tissues may have altered the autofluorescence properties.
Silas J. Leavesley, Mikayla Wheeler, Carmen Lopez, Thomas Baker, Peter F. Favreau, Thomas C. Rich, Paul F. Rider, and Carole W. Boudreaux, "Hyperspectral imaging fluorescence excitation scanning for detecting colorectal cancer: pilot study," Proc. SPIE 9703, Optical Biopsy XIV: Toward Real-Time Spectroscopic Imaging and Diagnosis, 970315 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 17, 2016; Published: 7 March 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2213153.
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