Discrimination of liver malignancies with 1064 nm dispersive Raman spectroscopy

Isaac J. Pence, Chetan A. Patil, Chad A. Lieber, Anita Mahadevan-Jansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Raman spectroscopy has been widely demonstrated for tissue characterization and disease discrimination, however current implementations with either 785 or 830 nm near-infrared (NIR) excitation have been ineffectual in tissues with intense autofluorescence such as the liver. Here we report the use of a dispersive 1064 nm Raman system using a low-noise Indium-Gallium-Arsenide (InGaAs) array to discriminate highly autofluorescent bulk tissue ex vivo specimens from healthy liver, adenocarcinoma, and hepatocellular carcinoma (N = 5 per group). The resulting spectra have been combined with a multivariate discrimination algorithm, sparse multinomial logistic regression (SMLR), to predict class membership of healthy and diseased tissues, and spectral bands selected for robust classification have been extracted. A quantitative metric called feature importance is defined based on classification outputs and is used to guide the association of spectral features with biological indicators of healthy and diseased liver tissue. Spectral bands with high feature importance for healthy and liver tumor specimens include retinol, heme, biliverdin, or quinones (1595 cm−1); lactic acid (838 cm−1); collagen (873 cm−1); and nucleic acids (1485 cm−1). Classification performance in both binary (normal versus tumor, 100% sensitivity and 89% specificity) and three-group cases (classification accuracy: normal 89%, adenocarcinoma 74%, hepatocellular carcinoma 64%) indicates the potential for accurately separating healthy and cancerous tissues and suggests implications for utilizing Raman techniques during surgical guidance in liver resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2724-2737
Number of pages14
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 2 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Medical optics instrumentation
  • Pattern recognition
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Spectroscopy, tissue diagnostics
  • Tissue characterization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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