Assessment of oral mucosal lesions with autofluorescence imaging and reflectance spectroscopy

Yastira Lalla, Marie Anne T. Matias, Camile S. Farah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Background. The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the efficacy of a new form of autofluorescence imaging and tissue reflectance spectroscopy (Identafi, DentalEZ) in examining patients with oral mucosal lesions.

Methods. The authors examined 88 patients with 231 oral mucosal lesions by conventional oral examination (COE) using white-light illumination and x 2.5 magnification loupes, followed by examination using Identafi. The authors noted fluorescence visualization loss, the presence of blanching, and diffuseness of vasculature. They performed incisional biopsies to provide definitive histopathologic diagnosis.

Results. Identafi's white light produced lesion visibility and border distinctness equivalent to COE. Identafi's violet light displayed a sensitivity of 12.5% and specificity of 85.4% for detection of oral epithelial dysplasia (OED). The authors noted visible vasculature using the green-amber light in 40.9% of lesions.

Conclusions. Identafi's intraoral white light provided detailed visualization of oral mucosal lesions comparable with examination using an extraoral white-light source with magnification. A high level of clinical experience is required to interpret the results of autofluorescence examination as the violet light displayed low sensitivity for detection of OED. The green-amber light provided additional clinical information in relation to underlying vasculature and inflammation of lesions.

Practical Implications. Examination using Identafi can provide clinicians with more clinical data than a standard COE with yellow incandescent light, but the clinical and optical findings should be interpreted as a whole and not in isolation. Clinicians should use the light features of Identafi in a sequential and differential manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)650-660
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


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