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Journal of Biomedical Optics

In vivo Raman spectral pathology of human atherosclerosis and vulnerable plaque
Author(s): Jason T. Motz; Maryann Fitzmaurice; Arnold Miller; Saumil J. Gandhi; Abigail S. Haka; Luis Galindo; Ramachandra R. Dasari; John R. Kramer; Michael S. Feld
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Paper Abstract

The rupture of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque accounts for the majority of clinically significant acute cardiovascular events. Because stability of these culprit lesions is directly related to chemical and morphological composition, Raman spectroscopy may be a useful technique for their study. Recent developments in optical fiber probe technology have allowed for the real-time in vivo Raman spectroscopic characterization of human atherosclerotic plaque demonstrated in this work. We spectroscopically examine 74 sites during carotid endarterectomy and femoral artery bypass surgeries. Of these, 34 are surgically biopsied and examined histologically. Excellent signal-to-noise ratio spectra are obtained in only 1 s and fit with an established model, demonstrating accurate tissue characterization. We also report the first evidence that Raman spectroscopy has the potential to identify vulnerable plaque, achieving a sensitivity and specificity of 79 and 85%, respectively. These initial findings indicate that Raman spectroscopy has the potential to be a clinically relevant diagnostic tool for studying cardiovascular disease.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 March 2006
PDF: 9 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 11(2) 021003 doi: 10.1117/1.2190967
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 11, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Jason T. Motz, Wellman Ctr. for Photomedicine (United States)
Maryann Fitzmaurice, Univ. Hospitals of Cleveland (United States)
Arnold Miller, MetroWest Medical Ctr. (United States)
Saumil J. Gandhi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Abigail S. Haka, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Luis Galindo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Ramachandra R. Dasari, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
John R. Kramer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Michael S. Feld, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)


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