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Article

Pterygium and Ocular Surface Squamous Neoplasia: Optical Biopsy Using a Novel Autofluorescence Multispectral Imaging Technique

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ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale Biophotonics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2032, Australia
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Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2032, Australia
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Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology, Macquarie Park, NSW 2113, Australia
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Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia
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Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia
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Department of Ophthalmology, University of New South Wales at Prince of Wales Hospital, High Street, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Salvatore Grisanti
Cancers 2022, 14(6), 1591; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14061591
Received: 18 January 2022 / Revised: 7 March 2022 / Accepted: 11 March 2022 / Published: 21 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Topic Biomedical Photonics)
Cancer is able to damage the surface of the eye, especially in countries like Australia with high exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Such cancer (ocular surface squamous neoplasia or OSSN) is similar in appearance to a common and benign eye disease called pterygium. Currently, eye biopsy is the gold standard diagnostic method for OSSN, which is traumatic for the patient, carries risks, and has been potentially unnecessary in patients diagnosed with pterygium only. This research introduces an imaging-based method for OSSN screening, which will reduce pressure on health resources—and hopefully eliminate the need for eye biopsy in cases of suspected OSSN.
In this study, differentiation of pterygium vs. ocular surface squamous neoplasia based on multispectral autofluorescence imaging technique was investigated. Fifty (N = 50) patients with histopathological diagnosis of pterygium (PTG) and/or ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN) were recruited. Fixed unstained biopsy specimens were imaged by multispectral microscopy. Tissue autofluorescence images were obtained with a custom-built fluorescent microscope with 59 spectral channels, each with specific excitation and emission wavelength ranges, suitable for the most abundant tissue fluorophores such as elastin, flavins, porphyrin, and lipofuscin. Images were analyzed using a new classification framework called fused-classification, designed to minimize interpatient variability, as an established support vector machine learning method. Normal, PTG, and OSSN regions were automatically detected and delineated, with accuracy evaluated against expert assessment by a specialist in OSSN pathology. Signals from spectral channels yielding signals from elastin, flavins, porphyrin, and lipofuscin were significantly different between regions classified as normal, PTG, and OSSN (p < 0.01). Differential diagnosis of PTG/OSSN and normal tissue had accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of 88 ± 6%, 84 ± 10% and 91 ± 6%, respectively. Our automated diagnostic method generated maps of the reasonably well circumscribed normal/PTG and OSSN interface. PTG and OSSN margins identified by our automated analysis were in close agreement with the margins found in the H&E sections. Such a map can be rapidly generated on a real time basis and potentially used for intraoperative assessment. View Full-Text
Keywords: pterygium; ocular surface squamous neoplasia; boundary detection; autofluorescence; machine learning pterygium; ocular surface squamous neoplasia; boundary detection; autofluorescence; machine learning
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MDPI and ACS Style

Habibalahi, A.; Allende, A.; Michael, J.; Anwer, A.G.; Campbell, J.; Mahbub, S.B.; Bala, C.; Coroneo, M.T.; Goldys, E.M. Pterygium and Ocular Surface Squamous Neoplasia: Optical Biopsy Using a Novel Autofluorescence Multispectral Imaging Technique. Cancers 2022, 14, 1591. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14061591

AMA Style

Habibalahi A, Allende A, Michael J, Anwer AG, Campbell J, Mahbub SB, Bala C, Coroneo MT, Goldys EM. Pterygium and Ocular Surface Squamous Neoplasia: Optical Biopsy Using a Novel Autofluorescence Multispectral Imaging Technique. Cancers. 2022; 14(6):1591. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14061591

Chicago/Turabian Style

Habibalahi, Abbas, Alexandra Allende, Jesse Michael, Ayad G. Anwer, Jared Campbell, Saabah B. Mahbub, Chandra Bala, Minas T. Coroneo, and Ewa M. Goldys. 2022. "Pterygium and Ocular Surface Squamous Neoplasia: Optical Biopsy Using a Novel Autofluorescence Multispectral Imaging Technique" Cancers 14, no. 6: 1591. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14061591

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