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BJU Int. 2004 Jun;93(9):1232-6.

The use of Raman spectroscopy to identify and characterize transitional cell carcinoma in vitro.

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Biophotonics Research Group, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, UK.



To determine whether Raman spectroscopy can be used to differentiate between normal, inflammatory and malignant bladder pathologies in vitro, and secondly if it can used to grade and stage transitional cell carcinoma (TCC).


In all, 1525 Raman spectra were measured from 75 bladder samples comprising normal bladder, cystitis, carcinoma in situ (CIS), TCC and adenocarcinoma. Multivariate analysis was applied to the spectral dataset to construct diagnostic algorithms; these were then tested for their ability to determine the histological diagnosis of each sample from its Raman spectrum.


The diagnostic algorithms could be used to accurately differentiate among the pathological groups, in particular, a three-group algorithm differentiated among normal bladder, cystitis and TCC/CIS with sensitivities and specificities of > 90%. Algorithms could also accurately characterize TCC in terms of splitting them into low (G1/G2) or high (G3) grade and superficial (pTa) or invasive (pT1/pT2) stage.


Raman spectroscopy can be used to accurately identify and grade/stage TCC in vitro. The technique therefore shows promise for use as an objective method to assist the pathologist in assessing bladder pathologies. Raman spectroscopy also has potential to provide immediate pathological diagnoses during surgical procedures. Following the promising results of this in vitro study, in vivo cystoscopic studies are planned.

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