Simultaneous fingerprint and high-wavenumber confocal Raman spectroscopy enhances early detection of cervical precancer in vivo.
Raman spectroscopy is a vibrational spectroscopic technique capable of nondestructively probing endogenous biomolecules and their changes associated with dysplastic transformation in the tissue. The main objectives of this study are (i) to develop a simultaneous fingerprint (FP) and high-wavenumber (HW) confocal Raman spectroscopy and (ii) to investigate its diagnostic utility for improving in vivo diagnosis of cervical precancer (dysplasia). We have successfully developed an integrated FP/HW confocal Raman diagnostic system with a ball-lens Raman probe for simultaneous acquistion of FP/HW Raman signals of the cervix in vivo within 1 s. A total of 476 in vivo FP/HW Raman spectra (356 normal and 120 precancer) are acquired from 44 patients at clinical colposcopy. The distinctive Raman spectral differences between normal and dysplastic cervical tissue are observed at ~854, 937, 1001, 1095, 1253, 1313, 1445, 1654, 2946, and 3400 cm(-1) mainly related to proteins, lipids, glycogen, nucleic acids and water content in tissue. Multivariate diagnostic algorithms developed based on partial least-squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) together with the leave-one-patient-out, cross-validation yield the diagnostic sensitivities of 84.2%, 76.7%, and 85.0%, respectively; specificities of 78.9%, 73.3%, and 81.7%, respectively; and overall diagnostic accuracies of 80.3%, 74.2%, and 82.6%, respectively, using FP, HW, and integrated FP/HW Raman spectroscopic techniques for in vivo diagnosis of cervical precancer. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis further confirms the best performance of the integrated FP/HW confocal Raman technique, compared to FP or HW Raman spectroscopy alone. This work demonstrates, for the first time, that the simultaneous FP/HW confocal Raman spectroscopy has the potential to be a clinically powerful tool for improving early diagnosis and detection of cervical precancer in vivo during clinical colposcopic examination.