Biochemical composition of human peripheral arteries examined with near-infrared Raman spectroscopy

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Near-infrared Raman spectroscopy provides an important new means of analyzing the chemical composition of the arterial wall. The objective of this study was to show that Raman spectroscopy can be used to evaluate the lipid and calcium salt contents of human peripheral arteries. The results extend a recently developed Raman-based method for analyzing the chemical composition of coronary arteries.

Methods and Results:

We studied 167 segments of carotid and femoral artery wall in various pathologic states. The Raman spectra from these samples was accurately modeled. The resulting chemical concentrations were compared with the amounts of cholesterol and calcium mineral determined at histologic evaluation by an experienced cardiovascular pathologist. Strong correlations between spectroscopic measurements and morphologic findings were demonstrated and validated the applicability of the method to peripheral arteries.


Raman spectroscopy can provide reliable histochemical information about peripheral and coronary arteries. Such information may help identify rupture-prone plaques before the onset of symptoms and allow aggressive and directed intervention. Accurate knowledge of the chemical composition of a lesion may be useful in selecting the most appropriate treatment.

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