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This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only


1.3 PHYSICAL SCIENCES, Atomic, Molecular and Chemical Physics

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DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.0c02735


The estimation of steatosis in a liver graft is mandatory prior to liver transplantation, as the risk of graft failure increases with the level of infiltrated fat. However, the assessment of liver steatosis before transplantation is typically based on a qualitative or semiquantitative characterization by visual inspection and palpation and histological analysis. Thus, there is an unmet need for transplantation surgeons to have access to a diagnostic tool enabling an in situ fast classification of grafts prior to extraction. In this study, we have assessed an attenuated total reflection−Fourier transform infrared (ATR−FTIR) spectroscopic method compatible with the requirements of an operation room for the evaluation of the lipid content in human livers. A set of human liver biopsies obtained from organs intended for transplantation were analyzed by expert pathologists, ATR−FTIR spectroscopy, lipid biochemical analysis, and UPLC−ESI(+/−)TOFMS for lipidomic profiling. Comparative analysis of multisource data showed strong correlations between ATR−FTIR, clinical, and lipidomic information. Results show that ATR−FTIR captures a global picture of the lipid composition of the liver, along with information for the quantification of the triradylglycerol content in liver biopsies. Although the methodology performance needs to be further validated, results support the applicability of ATR−FTIR for the in situ determination of the grade of liver steatosis at the operation room as a fast, quantitative method, as an alternative to the qualitative and subjective pathological examination.