Confocal endomicroscopy of the larynx

T. Just, T. Wiechmann, O. Stachs, J. Stave, R. Guthoff, G. Hüttmann, H. W. Pau


Beside the good image quality with the confocal laser scanning microscope (HRTII) and the Rostock Cornea Module (RCM), this technology can not be used to investigate the human larynx in vivo. To accomplish this, a rigid custommade endoscope (KARL STORZ GmbH & Co. KG; Tuttlingen Germany) was developed. A connector was developed to connect the scanner head of the HRTII to the rigid endoscope. With the connector, the starting plane can be set manually. To achieve optical sectioning of the laryngeal tissue (80 μm per volume scan), the scanning mechanism of the HRTII needs to be activated using a foot switch. The devices consisting of the endoscope, HRTII, and the connector supply images of 400 × 400 μm and reach average penetration depths of 100-300 μm (λ/4 plate of the scanner head of the HRTII was removed). The lateral and axial resolutions are about 1-2 μm and 2 μm, respectively. In vivo rigid confocal endoscopy is demonstrated with an acquisition time for a volume scan of 6 s. The aim of this study was to differentiate pre-malignant laryngeal lesions from micro-invasive carcinoma of the larynx. 22 patients with suspicious lesions of the true vocal cords were included. This pilot study clearly demonstrates the possibility to detect dysplastic cells close to the basal cell layer and within the subepithelial space in lesions with small leukoplakia (thin keratin layer). These findings may have an impact on microlaryngoscopy to improve the precision for biopsy and on microlaryngoscopic laser surgery of the larynx to identify the margins of the pre-malignant lesion.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSPIE
Publication date14.05.2012
Publication statusPublished - 14.05.2012


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