Variation of fluorescence spectroscopy during the menstrual cycle

Calum MacAulay, Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Urs Utzinger, Amanda Fedyk, E. Neely Atkinson, Dennis Cox, Michele Follen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Cervical autofluorescence has been demonstrated to have potential for real-time diagnosis. Inter-patient and intra-patient variations in fluorescence intensity have been measured. Inter-patient measurements may vary by a factor of ten, while intra-patient measurements may vary by a factor of two. Age and menopausal status have been demonstrated to account for some of the variations, while race and smoking have not. In order to explore in detail the role of the menstrual cycle in intra-patient variation, a study was designed to measure fluorescence excitation emission matrices (EEMs) in patients daily throughout one cycle. Ten patients with a history of normal menstrual cycles and normal Papanicolaou smears underwent daily measurements of fluorescence EEMs from three colposcopically normal sites throughout one menstrual cycle. Changes in signals from porphyrin, NADH, and FAD fluorescence and blood absorption were noted when the data was viewed in a graphical format. Visually interpreted features of the EEMs in this graphical format did not appear to correlate with the day of the menstrual cycle with the exception that blood absorption features were more prominent during the menstrual phase (during which bleeding occurs), suggesting that measurements during the menstrual phase should be avoided. Variations in cycle date likely do not account for inter- or intra-patient variations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-504
Number of pages12
JournalOptics Express
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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