Fluorescence spectroscopy for in vivo characterization of ovarian tissue

Molly Brewer, Urs Utzinger, Elvio Silva, David Gershenson, Robert C. Bast, Michele Follen, Rebecca Richards-Kortum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Background and Objective: The objective of this study was to explore whether fluorescence spectroscopy signatures differed between normal variations within the ovary, benign neoplasms, and ovarian cancer. Study Design/Materials and Methods: Ovarian tissue fluorescence emission spectra were collected sequentially at 18 excitation wavelengths ranging from 330 to 500 nm from 11 patients undergoing oophorectomy and assembled into fluorescence excitation emission matrices (EEMs); biopsies corresponded to the area interrogated. Spectral areas that could differentiate normal ovary, benign neoplasms, and cancers were evaluated, using histopathology as the reference standard. Results: The most promising measurements are (1) the integrated fluorescence intensity from 400 to 430 nm excitation at 460 nm emission, and (2) the ratios of fluorescence intensities at 330 nm excitation, 385 and 500 nm emission, and at 375 and 415 nm excitation, 460 nm emission. Simple systems to visualize these optical signatures at laparoscopy could be designed. Conclusion: Fluorescence spectroscopy may have the ability to distinguish ovarian cancers from normal ovarian structures and benign neoplasms, as well as differentiate between normal variations and metaplastic structures and should be further explored as a device for the early detection of ovarian cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-135
Number of pages8
JournalLasers in Surgery and Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Fluorescence spectroscopy
  • Ovarian cancer detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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