Ratio images and ultraviolet C excitation in autofluorescence imaging of neoplasms of the human colon

Timothy E. Renkoski, Bhaskar Banerjee, Logan R. Graves, Nathaniel S. Rial, Sirandon A.H. Reid, Vassiliki Liana Tsikitis, Valentine N. Nfonsam, Piyush Tiwari, Hemanth Gavini, Urs Utzinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The accepted screening technique for colon cancer is white light endoscopy. While most abnormal growths (lesions) are detected by this method, a significant number are missed during colonoscopy, potentially resulting in advanced disease. Missed lesions are often flat and inconspicuous in color. A prototype ultraviolet spectral imager measuring autofluorescence (AF) and reflectance has been developed and applied in a study of 21 fresh human colon surgical specimens. Six excitation wavelengths from 280 to 440 nm and formulaic ratio imaging were utilized to increase lesion contrast and cause neoplasms to appear bright compared to normal tissue. It was found that in the subset of lesions which were most difficult to visualize in standard color photographs [low contrast lesions, (LCLs)] a ratio image (F340/F440) of AF images excited at 340 and 440 nm produced extraordinary images and was effective in about 70% of these difficult cases. Contrast may be due to increased levels of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, increased hemoglobin absorption, and reduced signal from submucosal collagen. A second successful ratio image (R480/R555) combined two reflectance images to produce exceptional images especially in particular LCLs where F340/F440 was ineffective. The newly discovered ratio images can potentially improve detection rate in screening with a novel AF colonoscope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number016005
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Cancer
  • Colon
  • Endoscopy
  • Fluorescence
  • Gastroenterology
  • Medical imaging
  • Multispectral imaging
  • Reflectance
  • Ultraviolet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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