In vivo optical spectroscopy detects radiation damage in brain tissue Article

cited authors

  • Lin, WC; Mahadevan-Jansen, A; Johnson, MD; Weil, RJ; Toms, SA

fiu authors


  • OBJECTIVE; Magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities in malignant brain tumors after irradiation may represent either recurrent tumor or radiation injury. Optical spectroscopy may represent a novel technique to identify radiation damage in brain tissues and to differentiate contrast-enhancing lesions from recurrent tumor. METHODS: Fluorescence and diffuse reflectance spectra were acquired from 90 patients: 15 undergoing surgical resection for presumed recurrent tumor after radiation therapy, 15 with epilepsy and hippocampal sclerosis, and 60 with tumors who had not received irradiation. Optical spectra were acquired from 6 to 10 sites and were compared with a biopsy obtained from beneath the optical spectroscopy probe; the data then were classified by a neuropathologist blinded to the spectroscopy data. A probe for the intraoperative collection of diffuse reflectance and fluorescence spectra was used. RESULTS: Thirteen of 15 patients (29 of 129 spectra) with previous irradiation showed a unique spectral feature characterized by a fluorescence peak centered at 500 nm (F500). All biopsy specimens showing histopathological signs of radiation injury had the F500 on their corresponding spectra (18 of 18). The F500 was identified in another 10% (11 of 111 spectra) of samples with previous irradiation but no histologically identifiable signs of radiation damage. The F500 was never seen in the normal temporal lobe of epilepsy patients with hippocampal sclerosis (0 of 105) and was seen in only 1.5% of tumor patients who did not undergo previous irradiation (6 of 433). CONCLUSION: Optical spectroscopy detects radiation damage in brain tissues. The F500 spectral peak may allow accurate selection of tissues for biopsy in evaluating patients with new, contrast-enhancing lesions in the setting of previous irradiation.

publication date

  • September 1, 2005

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 518

end page

  • 524


  • 57


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