Detection of Abnormal Proliferation in Histologically ‘Normal’ Colonic Biopsies Using FTIR-Microspectroscopy

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Abnormal crypt proliferation and development in the colon has been associated with premalignant stages of colon cancer. Conventionally, molecular markers are used to detect abnormal crypt proliferation.


In the present work, feasibility studies of FTIR-MSP to distinguish between normal and abnormal crypts from colon biopsies that show normal histopathological features have been undertaken.


The results indicate that abnormal crypts show deviations in the pattern of absorbance in the Mid IR region along the crypt height when compared with the normal crypts. The crypts could be empirically classified into three groups such as crypts having a normal absorbance pattern for all biochemical components, crypts with abnormal absorbance pattern for some biochemical components and crypts with completely abnormal absorbance pattern along the height for all or most biochemical components studied by FTIR. The utilization of FTIR-MSP is proposed for diagnosis of abnormal metabolism at the molecular level of histologically completely normal-looking crypts, especially from those biopsies that are taken from sites far away from cancer.


This method could give rise to a reduction in false-negative results during examination of biopsies using the conventional histopathological methods. The present method may be complementary to existing methods for precise demarcation of the zone of colostomy prior to colon cancer surgery.

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