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Distinguishing and grading human gliomas by IR spectroscopy



As a molecular probe of tissue composition, IR spectroscopy can potentially serve as an adjunct to histopathology in detecting and diagnosing disease. This study demonstrates that cancerous brain tissue (astrocytoma, glioblastoma) is distinguishable from control tissue on the basis of the IR spectra of thin tissue sections. It is further shown that the IR spectra of astrocytoma and glioblastoma affected tissue can be discriminated from one another, thus providing insight into the malignancy grade of the tissue. Both the spectra and the methods employed for their classification reveal characteristic differences in tissue composition. In particular, the nature and relative amounts of brain lipids, including both the gangliosides and phospholipids, appear to be altered in cancerous compared to control tissue. Using a genetic classification approach, classification success rates of up to 89% accuracy were obtained, depending on the number of regions included in the model. The diagnostic potential and practical applications of IR spectroscopy in brain tumor diagnosis are discussed. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Biopolymers (Biospectroscopy), 2003