Evaluation of radiation-induced oral mucositis by optical coherence tomography

Thierry M. Muanza, Ana P. Cotrim, Mathew McAuliffe, Anastasia L. Sowers, Bruce J. Baum, John A. Cook, Felix Feldchtein, Paul Amazeen, C. Norman Coleman, James B. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Purpose: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging was evaluated to determine if radiation-induced mucosal damage could be noninvasively monitored in real time and correlated with histopathologic findings. Experimental Design: Female C3H mice, ages 7 to 9 weeks, four per group, were immobilized in a custom-made Lucite jig and received 0,15, 22.5, and 25 Gy in a single fraction to their oral cavity. OCT images were acquired of proximal, middle, and distal aspects of the dorsum of the tongue on days 0,1, 3, 5, and 7 post-irradiation. Animals were sacrificed on day 7 and samples taken for histologic evaluation. OCT images were visually examined and also quantified by image analysis and compared with histologic findings. Results: Tongues removed 7 days post-irradiation showed no visible damage; however, upon staining with toluidine blue, ulcers at the base of the tongue became visible (100% for 25 Gy, 75% after 22.5 Gy, and 0% after 15 Gy). Visual inspection of OCT images qualitatively compared with histologic findings and quantitative image analysis of the OCT images (effective light penetration depth) revealed significant changes 7 days post-irradiation compared with unirradiated controls for the base of the tongue. Conclusions: OCT allows for direct noninvasive real-time acquisition of digitally archivable images of oral mucosa and can detect radiation-induced changes in the mucosa before visual manifestation. OCT may be a useful technique to quantify subclinical radiation-induced mucosal injury in experimental chemoradiation clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5121-5127
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 15 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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