Clinical evaluation of chemiluminescent lighting: An adjunct for oral mucosal examinations

A. R. Kerr, D. A. Sirois, J. B. Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe the utility of oral chemiluminescent lighting (FDA-cleared ViziLite™) as an adjunct to standard visual examination (SVE) to enhance visualization of mucosal lesions, particularly those "clinically suspicious" for oral pre-cancer or cancer. Subjects were considered at risk for oral cancer or pre-cancer if they have no a priori knowledge of the presence or absence of an oral lesion at the time of examination. Methodology: Five-hundred and one consecutive consenting subjects, over 40 years of age and with a positive tobacco history, received a standard visual examination with conventional incandescent lighting, followed by chemiluminescent lighting. All lesions were recorded, and for lesions detected by both screening modalities, comparisons were made of the subjective parameters of lesion brightness, sharpness, surface texture, and relative size. Results: A total of 410 epithelial lesions were detected in 270 subjects by standard visual examination, of which 127 were clinically "suspicious" for oral cancer and pre-cancer. Ninety-eight lesions were also visualized by chemiluminescent lighting as "aceto-white" (CL+), in addition to six lesions not previously seen by standard visual examination. Seventy-seven of the CL+ lesions (78.5%) were clinically suspicious; all "suspicious" lesions with an ulcerative component and ulcerated lesions consistent with trauma were CL+. Leukoplakias were significantly more likely to be CL+ than erythroplakias (p < 0.01). Overall, those lesions illuminated by chemiluminescent lighting appeared brighter, sharper, and smaller compared to incandescent illumination. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that oral chemiluminescent lighting, when used as a screening adjunct following the standard visual oral examination, provides additional visual information. Leukoplakias may be more readily visualized by chemiluminescence. Studies are underway to explore the clinical significance and predictive value of oral chemiluminescent lighting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-63
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Dentistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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