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It is widely accepted that cervical screening has significantly reduced the incidence of cervical cancer worldwide. The primary screening test for cervical cancer is the Papanicolaou (Pap) test, which has extremely variable specificity and sensitivity. There is an unmet clinical need for methods to aid clinicians in the early detection of cervical precancer. Raman spectroscopy is a label-free objective method that can provide a biochemical fingerprint of a given sample. Compared with studies on infrared spectroscopy, relatively few Raman spectroscopy studies have been carried out to date on cervical cytology. The aim of this study was to define the Raman spectral signatures of cervical exfoliated cells present in liquid-based cytology Pap test specimens and to compare the signature of high-grade dysplastic cells to each of the normal cell types. Raman spectra were recorded from single exfoliated cells and subjected to multivariate statistical analysis. The study demonstrated that Raman spectroscopy can identify biochemical signatures associated with the most common cell types seen in liquid-based cytology samples; superficial, intermediate, and parabasal cells. In addition, biochemical changes associated with high-grade dysplasia could be identified suggesting that Raman spectroscopy could be used to aid current cervical screening tests.
Lyng, F. et al. (2017) Raman spectral signatures of cervical exfoliated cells from liquid-based cytology samples, J Biomed Opt. 2017 Oct;22(10):1-10. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.22.10.105008.