We report an experimental study of the possibility of enhancing early bladder cancer diagnosis with fluorescence-image-guided endoscopic optical coherence tomography (OCT). After the intravesical instillation of a 10% solution of 5-aminolevulinic acid, simultaneous fluorescence imaging (excitation of 380–420 nm, emission of 620–700 nm) and OCT are performed on rat bladders to identify the photochemical and morphological changes associated with uroepithelial tumorigenesis. The preliminary results of our ex vivo study reveal that both fluorescence and OCT can identify early uroepithelial cancers, and OCT can detect precancerous lesions (e.g., hyperplasia) that fluorescence may miss. This suggests that a cystoscope combining 5-aminolevulinic acid fluorescence and OCT imaging has the potential to enhance the efficiency and sensitivity of early bladder cancer diagnosis.
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