Time-resolved fluorescence of human aortic wall: Use for improved identification of atherosclerotic lesions

Jean Michel I Maarek, Laura Marcu, Michael C. Fishbein, Warren S. Grundfest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Background and Objective: This study characterized aortic time-resolved fluorescence spectra for stratified levels of atherosclerosis and proposed interpretation of spectrotemporal variations in terms of histologic changes. Study Design/Materials and Methods: Fluorescence emission transients were measured at 370-510 nm (337 nm excitation) on 94 excised human aortic samples, ranging from normal to advanced fibrous atherosclerotic lesion. Global analysis yielded a three-exponential approximation of the time-resolved spectra from which average lifetime and decay-associated spectra were derived. Results: Average lifetime at 390 nm gradually increased from 2.4 ± 0.1 nsec (normal aorta) to 3.9 ± 0.1 nsec (advanced lesion). Fluorescence intensity was markedly decreased above 430 nm in intermediate and advanced lesions. Spectral intensity associated with the intermediate decay increased at 470-490 nm for early and intermediate lipid-rich lesions. Conclusion: Time-resolved fluorescence spectra of aortic samples presented distinctive features for each atherosclerotic lesion type, which could serve as characteristic markers for optical analysis of the aortic wall. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-254
Number of pages14
JournalLasers in Surgery and Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Decay-associated spectra
  • Fluorescence spectroscopy
  • Global analysis
  • Lifetime
  • Nitrogen laser
  • Optical biopsy
  • Time-dependent fluorescence decay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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