Analysis of oral lesion biopsies identified and evaluated by visual examination, chemiluminescence and toluidine blue

J B Epstein, S Silverman, J D Epstein, S A Lonky, M A Bride
Oral Oncology 2008, 44 (6): 538-44
Conventional visual examination and palpation remains the gold-standard for the identification of oral mucosal lesions. The purpose of this study was to investigate the adjunctive value of a chemiluminescent light source (ViziLite, Zila Pharmaceuticals, Phoenix, Arizona) and application of pharmaceutical grade toluidine blue (TBlue(630), Zila Pharmaceuticals, Phoenix, Arizona) to further assess lesions identified during the conventional oral soft tissue examination. Lesions deemed clinically suspicious by visual examination under incandescent light were further assessed under chemiluminescence and then application of toluidine blue stain. Differences between the conventional visual examination and chemiluminescent examination were noted on four characteristics which may aid in lesion identification. Tissue retention of toluidine blue stain was documented. Each suspicious lesion was biopsied and diagnosed based upon routine histopathology. Both adjunctive exams were evaluated by comparing the histologic diagnosis. The additive value of toluidine blue stain retention was assessed in lesions diagnosed as "serious pathology" defined as severe dysplasia, carcinoma in situ and squamous cell carcinoma. Ninety-seven clinically suspicious lesions in 84 patients were identified. The chemiluminescent exam improved the brightness and/or sharpness of margin in 61.8% of identified lesions. Biopsied lesions with toluidine blue stain retention reduced the false positive rate by 55.26% while maintaining a 100% negative predictive value (NPV). Chemiluminescence was shown to increase the brightness and margins of mucosal lesions in a majority of cases and therefore may assist in identification of mucosal lesions not considered under traditional visual examination. Toluidine blue stain retention was associated with a large reduction in biopsies showing benign histology (false positive biopsy results), while maintaining a 100% NPV for the presence of severe dysplasia or cancer. Practitioners may consider use of these adjuncts in practice, however the results presented are based upon experienced providers in referral centers for mucosal disease or cancer centers and therefore positive findings may be an indication for referral to experienced providers.

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