Clinical characterization of in vivo inflammatory bowel disease with Raman spectroscopy

Isaac J. Pence, Dawn B. Beaulieu, Sara N. Horst, Xiaohong Bi, Alan J. Herline, David A. Schwartz, Anita Mahadevan-Jansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD), affects over 1 million Americans and 2 million Europeans, and the incidence is increasing worldwide. While these diseases require unique medical care, the differentiation between UC and CD lacks a gold standard, and therefore relies on long term follow up, success or failure of existing treatment, and recurrence of the disease. Here, we present colonoscopy-coupled fiber optic probe-based Raman spectroscopy as a minimally-invasive diagnostic tool for IBD of the colon (UC and Crohn’s colitis). This pilot in vivo study of subjects with existing IBD diagnoses of UC (n = 8), CD (n = 15), and normal control (n = 8) aimed to characterize spectral signatures of UC and CD. Samples were correlated with tissue pathology markers and endoscopic evaluation. The collected spectra were processed and analyzed using multivariate statistical techniques to identify spectral markers and discriminate IBD and disease classes. Confounding factors including the presence of active inflammation and the particular colon segment measured were investigated and integrated into the devised prediction algorithm, reaching 90% sensitivity and 75% specificity to CD from this in vivo data set. These results represent significant progress towards improved real-time classification for accurate and automated in vivo detection and discrimination of IBD during colonoscopy procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number#276220
Pages (from-to)524-535
Number of pages12
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Medical optics instrumentation
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Spectroscopy, tissue diagnostics
  • Tissue characterization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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