Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy provides a unique molecular fingerprint of tissue from endogenous sources of light absorption; however, specific molecular components of the overall FTIR signature of precancer have not been characterized. In attenuated total reflectance mode, infrared light penetrates only a few microns of the tissue surface, and the influence of water on the spectra can be minimized, allowing for the analyses of the molecular composition of tissues. Here, spectra were collected from 98 excised specimens of the distal esophagus, including 38 squamous, 38 intestinal metaplasia (Barrett's), and 22 gastric, obtained endoscopically from 32 patients. We show that DNA, protein, glycogen, and glycoprotein comprise the principal sources of infrared absorption in the 950- to 1,800-cm(-1) regime. The concentrations of these biomolecules can be quantified by using a partial least-squares fit and used to classify disease states with high sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy. Moreover, use of FTIR to detect premalignant (dysplastic) mucosa results in a sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and total accuracy of 92%, 80%, 92%, and 89%, respectively, and leads to a better interobserver agreement between two gastrointestinal pathologists for dysplasia (kappa = 0.72) versus histology alone (kappa = 0.52). Here, we demonstrate that the concentration of specific biomolecules can be determined from the FTIR spectra collected in attenuated total reflectance mode and can be used for predicting the underlying histopathology, which will contribute to the early detection and rapid staging of many diseases.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0707567104
View details for Web of Science ID 000249942700049
View details for PubMedID 17901200