Infrared spectroscopy of exfoliated human cervical cells: Evidence of extensive structural changes during carcinogenesis Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Cervix Uteri
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms


  • Infrared spectra were obtained from exfoliated cervical cells from 156 females, of whom 136 were normal, 12 had cervical cancer, and 8 had dysplasia. The spectra of the normal women, essentially identical, differed from those obtained from patients with either cancer or dysplasia. In malignant samples we noted (i) significant changes in the intensity of the glycogen bands at 1025 cm-1 and 1047 cm-1, the bands at 1082 cm-1 and 1244 cm-1, the C--O stretching band at 1155 cm-1, and the band at 1303 cm-1, (ii) significant shifts of the peaks normally appearing at 1082 cm-1, 1155 cm-1, and 1244 cm-1, and (iii) an additional band at 970 cm-1. Further study of several of these bands, including the pressure dependence of their frequencies, revealed that in the malignant cervical tissue there were extensive changes in the degree of hydrogen bonding of phosphodiester groups of nucleic acids and C--OH groups of proteins, as well as changes in the degree of disorder of methylene chains of lipids. The IR spectra of samples with dysplasia demonstrated the same changes with cancer samples, except that the changes were of lesser magnitude and the phosphodiester peak normally appearing at 1082 cm-1 did not shift. These spectroscopic changes appear to progress in tandem with the morphological changes that lead normal cervical epithelium to cancer through the premalignant stage of dysplasia. The diagnostic potential of IR spectroscopy is discussed.

publication date

  • December 1991



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC53058

PubMed ID

  • 1763013

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 10988

end page

  • 92


  • 88


  • 24