Abstract

Fluorescence spectroscopy of the cervix has been shown to be an effective noninvasive diagnostic tool for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (precancer). To assess the effect of the menstrual cycle on fluorescence spectroscopy, daily measurements were made on ten subjects for the length of their cycle. These measurements were analyzed to determine if there was a statistically significant signal associated with the menstrual cycle. A signal was found for emission wavelengths between 425 and 445 nm inclusive—near the main hemoglobin absorption band, the Soret band, at 420 nm. We suspect that the slight displacement of the Soret band is due to the nearby dominant NAD(P)H peak, which increases the signal-to-noise ratio and affects statistical significance. The signal consists of a reduction in fluorescence intensity for the first few days of the cycle. This analysis indicates that hemoglobin absorption is the main menstrualcycle effect on the use of fluorescence spectroscopy on the cervix. The effect is confined to a small set of excitation/emission wavelengths and to approximately the first 8 days of the cycle. This suggests that any problems from the menstrual cycle can be avoided with a simple requirement that the device not be used during the period of menstrual bleeding.

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