The fluorescence of thyroid tissue

Michael Jay Pitman, Joshua Michael Rosenthal, Howard E. Savage, Goupei Yu, Steven A. McCormick, Alvin Katz, Robert R. Alfano, Stimson Pryor Schantz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


To investigate the fluorescent characteristics of different thyroid tissues. Fresh ex vivo thyroid tissue was surfaced scanned with a fluorescence spectrophotometer. Resultant spectra were evaluated via interpeak ratios. Interpeak ratios of all histologies were found to be significantly different from each other (P < 0.001). The diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of fluorescent spectroscopy was 86% and 91% for thyroid nodule capsule, 78% and 59% for papillary thyroid carcinoma, and 82% and 63% for normal thyroid, respectively. Fluorescent spectroscopy can been used to identify significant differences in the fluorescent characteristics of various thyroid histologies. This study is the first investigation of the fluorescence of thyroid tissue. The diagnostic ability of fluorescent spectrometry may allow it to be used as a localization aid for fine needle aspiration, using optical fiber probes. Further investigations may enhance the sensitivity and specificity of fluorescent spectrometry allowing it to replace or compliment fine needle aspiration. EBM rating: B-3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-627
Number of pages5
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes


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