In vivo determination of the molecular composition of artery wall by intravascular Raman spectroscopy

Anal Chem. 2000 Aug 15;72(16):3771-5. doi: 10.1021/ac000298b.


Atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability is suggested to be determined by its chemical composition. However, at present there are no in vivo techniques available that can adequately type atherosclerotic plaques in terms of chemical composition. Previous in vitro experiments have shown that Raman spectroscopy can provide such information in great detail. Here we present the results of in vitro and in vivo intravascular Raman spectroscopic experiments, in which dedicated, miniaturized fiber-optic probes were used to illuminate the blood vessel wall and to collect Raman scattered light. The results make clear that an important hurdle to clinical application of Raman spectroscopy in atherosclerosis has been overcome, namely, the ability to obtain in vivo intravascular Raman spectra of high quality. Of equal importance is the finding that the in vivo intravascular Raman signal obtained from a blood vessel is a simple summation of signal contributions of the blood vessel wall and of blood. It means that detailed information about the chemical composition of a blood vessel wall can be obtained by adapting a multiple least-squares fitting method, which was developed previously for the analysis of in vitro spectra, to account for signal contributions of blood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arteries / chemistry*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Sheep
  • Spectrum Analysis, Raman / methods*