Conventional imaging modalities like CT or ultrasonography have a spatial resolution of 70-1000 rim. OCT is a new method by which light of a certain wavelength is introduced into a fiberglass optic to measure tissue structures of up to 2.5 mm depth with a spatial resolution of up to 10-15 μm. We utilized the Tomograph Sirius 713, developed at the Medical Laser Centre in cooperation with 4-Optics AG, Lubeck, Germany. This apparatus uses a special Super-
Luminescence-Diode (SLD) that produces light within the near infrared wavelength, with a central wavelength of 1300 nm. The coherence length is reduced to 15 μm. The light is introduced into a fiberglass optic which is several meters long and is easy to handle. To measure the depth of invasion and position of urothelial bladder tumors, the fiberglass optic is attached to a regular endoscope (Wolf, Knittlingen, Germany) via an OCT adapter. That way, in parallel to the regular endoscopic view of the bladder mucosa with or without pathologic findings, an OCT picture of the superficial as well as the deeper muscle layers is visible online. OCT was used to obtain 945 images from the bladder in vivo und ex vivo of 65 patients. OCT of normal bladder mucosa allows to image a cross section of up to 2.5 mm. It is possible to distinguish transitional epithelium, lamina propria, smooth muscles and capillaries. In cystitis, the thickness of the mucosa is constant, but the distinction between the different layers is blurred. In squamous metaplasia there is thickening of the epithelial layer, with preservation of lamination of the lower layers. In transitional cell carcinoma there is a complete loss of the regular layered structure. It is easily possible to distinguish the border between tumour and normal bladder tissue. OCT is a new high-resolution imaging procedure. It has the potential to improve the diagnostics of the urothelium and its lesions. In conjunction with a highly sensitive orientating procedure like fluorescence-cystoscopy, intraoperative staging of these changes could be possible in the future.
To evaluate the potential of reflectance confocal scanning laser microscopy (CM) for rapid imaging of non-processed freshly excised human bladder biopsies and cystectomy specimens. Freshly excised bladder tumors from three cystectomy specimens and random biopsies from twenty patients with a history of superficial bladder tumors were imaged with CM. Additional acetic acid washing prior to CM imaging was performed in some of the samples. Confocal images were compared to corresponding routine histologic sections. CM allows imaging of unprocessed bladder tissue at a subcellular resolution. Urothelial cell layers, collagen, vessels and muscle fibers can be rapidly visualized, in native state. In this regard, umbrella cells, basement membrane elucidated. Besides obvious limitations partly due to non-use of exogenous dyes, CM imaging offers several advantages: rapid imaging of the tissue in its native state like the basement membrane, normally seen only by using immunohistopathology. Reflectance CM opens a new avenue for imaging bladder cancer.
Combining endoscopy with optical coherence tomography (OCT) can improve the diagnosis in minimal invasive procedures. Up to now OCT probes were constructed using rotating or moving single-mode fibers or micro scanners at the tip of the probe. We describe an endoscopic OCT system which uses a specially designed rigid endoscope with an extracorporal scanner to create OCT images with 15 μm resolution. The OCT endoscope was constructed using a 270 mm gradient index lens with a diameter of 3 mm. Dispersion of the endoscope was compensated in the OCT interferometer by an all fiber approach. The system is now being tested for detecting malignancies in the urinary bladder.
Purpose: OCT is a new imaging method which produces a 3 mm wide x 2.5 mm deep 2D picture with a resolution of 15 μm.
Materials and Methods: We utilised the Tomograph Sirius 713, developed at the Medical Laser Centre in cooperation with 4-Optics AG, Lubeck, Germany. This apparatus uses a special Super-Luminescence-Diode (SLD) that produces light within the near infrared wavelength, with a central wavelength of 1300 nm and spectral width of 45 nm. The coherence length is reduced to 15 μm. The light is introduced into a fibreglass optic which is a couple of meters long and is easy to handle. To measure the depth of invasion and position of urothelial bladder tumours, the fibreglass optic is attached to a regular endoscope (Wolf, Knittlingen, Germany) via a OCT adapter. That way, in parallel to the regular endoscopic view of the bladder mucosa with or without pathologic findings, an OCT picture of the superficial as well as the deeper muscle layers is visible online. OCT was used to obtaine 275 images from the bladder of 30 patients.
Results: OCT of normal bladder mucosa produces an image with a cross section of up to 2.5 mm. It is possible to distinguish transitional epithelium, lamina propria, smooth muscles and capillaries. In cystitis the thickness of the mucosa is constant, but the distinction between the different layers is blurred. In squamous metaplasia there is thickening of the epithelial layer, with preservation of lamination of the lower layers. In transitional cell carcinoma there is a complete loss of the regular layered structure. Thus, the border between tumour and normal bladder tissue can be easily distinguished.
Conclusions: This method can provide valuable information on tumour invasion and extension in real time and therefore influence therapeutic strategies
During cystoscopy procedure, fluorescence diagnostics induced by 5-ALA improves visual detection of the bladder cancer. Macroscopic ALA-fluorescence allows visualizing of small flat tumors, carcinoma in situ, true neoplasm margins and dysplasias of the bladder. Following ALA instillation, cystoscopy has been performed under both standard and blue light illumination. Totally, 153 biopsies have been carried out at 53 patients with suspicion of bladder cancer. The results were compared to ALA-fluorescence data. In 13% of the patients, bladder cancer and dysplasia were found out in addition, due to red fluorescence. The sensitivity and specificity of ALA-fluorescence technique aggregated 96% and 52% respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of 5-ALA-fluorescent detection exceeded standard endoscopy under white light on 20%. The new method does not exclude a false positive and a false negative fluorescent luminescence. The ALA-based fluorescence detection system enhances the diagnosis of malignant/dysplastic bladder lesions significantly.
Purpose: Several investigators have demonstrated an approximately 20% higher tumor detection rate by ALA (5-aminolevulinic acid) based fluorescence endoscopy (AFE) compared to standard white light cystoscopy. These data suggest a reduction of residual and recurrent tumor following fluorescence guided transurethral resection (TUR) of bladder carcinoma. The present study was performed to test this hypothesis.
Materials and Methods: In a prospective randomized multi-center study, 2 x 51 patients underwent TUR of bladder tumor(s) either with white light (current standard) or assisted by ALA-induced fluorescence. A 2nd look TUR with AFE was performed 6 weeks after the initial operation. Control cystoscopies were performed 3 and 6 months after initial tumor resection.
Results: At 2nd look TUR (6 weeks post op) and at control cystoscopies 3 and 6 months following initial TUR in the white light group residual and/or recurrent carcinoma was detected in 20 of 51, in 24 of 48 and in 28 of 48 patients, respectively, and in the AFE group in 8 of 51, in 10 of 47 and in 17 of 47 patients, respectively. The differences were statistically significant (p=0.005, p=0.002 and p=0.01, respectively). Three patients in the white light and four patients in the AFE group were lost to follow up.
Conclusions: AFE is a minimally invasive and inexpensive diagnostic procedure that significantly improves bladder tumor detection rates compared to standard white light endoscopy. In the present study AFE reduced the residual/recurrent tumor rate 6 weeks, 3 and 6 months after initial TUR by 59%, 58% and 38%, respectively.