Patient-side appraisal of late radiation-induced oral microvascular changes

R. Helmers, N.F. Straat, A. Navran, T.A.P. Nai Chung Tong, D.N. Teguh, R.A. van Hulst, J. de Lange, D.M.J. Milstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To determine the clinical feasibility of examining and measuring late irradiation changes in the oral microcirculation of head and neck (HN) cancer patients using the novel CytoCam video microscope system. Methods and Materials: In 30 HN cancer patients and 30 age-matched controls, bilateral video images were recorded noninvasively of the oral microcirculation of the buccal mucosa and mandibular gingiva. Tissue perfusion parameters, such as functional capillary density (FCD), buccal blood vessel diameter, and microcirculatory flow index, were analyzed. Results: No difference was observed for mean buccal mucosa FCD in irradiated versus healthy tissue, whereas a lower mean gingival FCD in irradiated versus healthy tissue was observed (34 ± 17 capillaries per millimeter squared [cpll/mm2] vs 68 ± 19 cpll/mm2; P <.001). A significant difference in mean buccal blood vessel diameter of 16 ± 3 μm was measured, compared with 14 ± 1 μm in control buccal mucosa (P <.001). No significant difference in microcirculatory flow index was observed between the 2 groups. Conclusions: Quantifying oral microcirculatory injury associated with late irradiation effects using the CytoCam was feasible in HN cancer patients. Results indicate that marked differences in tissue-specific microcirculatory measurements of angioarchitecture, diminished capillary density, and extensively dilated blood vessel diameters are associated with late irradiation effects in HN cancer patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1299-1307
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2018

Cite this