GSBS Student Publications


Tissue pH determination for the detection of metabolically active, inflamed vulnerable plaques using near-infrared spectroscopy: an in-vitro feasibility study

Student Author(s)

Tania Khan

GSBS Program

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Surgery; Department of Anesthesiology



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Arteriosclerosis; Carotid Stenosis; Feasibility Studies; Humans; Hydrogen-Ion Concentration; Microelectrodes; Reference Values; Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared


Anesthesiology | Cardiovascular Diseases | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Surgery


Detection of vulnerable plaques as the underlying cause of myocardial infarction is at the center of attention in cardiology. We have previously shown that infiltration of inflammatory cells in atherosclerotic plaques renders these plaques relatively hot and acidic, with substantial plaque temperature and pH variation. The objective of this investigation was to determine whether near-infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) could be used to non-destructively measure the tissue pH in atherosclerotic plaques. NIRS and tissue pH electrode measurements were taken on freshly excised carotid plaques maintained under physiological conditions. The coefficient of determination between NIRS and the pH microelectrode measurement was 0.75 using 17 different areas. The estimated accuracy of the NIRS measurement was 0.09 pH units. These results demonstrate the feasibility of using NIRS tissue pH in freshly excised atherosclerotic plaques in light of marked pH heterogeneity and warrants future in-vivo investigations on pH measurement of atherosclerotic plaques.

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Citation: Cardiology. 2005;103(1):10-6. Epub 2004 Nov 2. Link to article on publisher's site

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