We have investigated laser-induced fluorescence frompost mortem human arteries in order to find spectroscopic properties allowing discrimination between normal and atherosclerotic vessel wall. A pulsed nitrogen laser emitting light at a wavelength of 337.1 nm was used as an excitation source. The fluorescence spectrum from 370 to 700 nm was captured and analysed by an optical multichannel analyser. Dimensionless contrast functions were formed by using characteristic spectral features at 390, 415, 480, 580 and 600 nm. All samples were investigated in scans across a region where normal as well as diseased vessel wall appeared. The types of plaque were histopathologically divided into four groups, of which three could be singled out using one or more of our spectroscopic criteria. We also investigated the different layers of the normal and diseased vessel wall in order to determine the various contributions to the fluorescence signal. Furthermore, plasma emission spectra were recorded while ablating the normal as well as the diseased vessel wall with an excimer laser, emitting radiation at 308 nm, thus detecting the change in spectral characteristics during the ablation process down into deeper layers.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics