Intraoperative multispectral and hyperspectral label-free imaging: A systematic review of in vivo clinical studies

J Shapey, Y Xie, E Nabavi, R Bradford, S R Saeed, S Ourselin, T Vercauteren

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Multispectral and hyperspectral imaging (HSI) are emerging optical imaging techniques with the potential to transform the way surgery is performed but it is not clear whether current systems are capable of delivering real-time tissue characterisation and surgical guidance. We conducted a systematic review of surgical in vivo label-free multispectral and hyperspectral imaging systems that have been assessed intraoperatively in adult patients, published over a 10-year period to May 2018. We analysed 13 studies including 7 different HSI systems. Current in-vivo HSI systems generate an intraoperative tissue oxygenation map or enable tumour detection. Intraoperative tissue oxygenation measurements may help to predict those patients at risk of postoperative complications and in-vivo intraoperative tissue characterisation may be performed with high specificity and sensitivity. All systems utilised a line-scanning or wavelength-scanning method but the spectral range and number of spectral bands employed varied significantly between studies and according to the system's clinical aim. The time to acquire a hyperspectral cube dataset ranged between 5 and 30 seconds. No safety concerns were reported in any studies. A small number of studies have demonstrated the capabilities of intraoperative in-vivo label-free hyperspectral imaging but further work is needed to fully integrate it into the current surgical workflow. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere201800455
Pages (from-to)e201800455
JournalJournal of biophotonics
Issue number9
Early online date29 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


  • hyperspectral imaging
  • multispectral imaging
  • surgery


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