A novel, compact and low-cost multispectral fluorescence imaging system with an integrated excitation light source is described. Data are presented demonstrating the application of this method to in vivo monitoring of fluorescence before, during and after topical 5-aminolevulinic acid photodynamic therapy of superficial skin cancers. The excitation source comprised a fluorescent tube with the phosphor selected to emit broadband violet light centered at 394 nm. The camera system simultaneously captured spectrally specific images of the fluorescence of the photosensitizer, protoporphyrin IX, the illumination profile and the skin autofluorescence. Real-time processing enabled images to be manipulated to create a composite image of high contrast. The application and validation of this method will allow further detailed studies of the characteristics and time-course of protoporphyrin IX fluorescence, during topical photodynamic therapy in human skin in vivo.
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Vol. 73 • No. 3