Skip to Main Content
A new medical imaging technique for arterial walls based on laser-induced autoflnorescence spectroscopy is reported. The internal surface of isolated arteries with or without atherosclerosis is irradiated with an argon ion laser (458 nm) and the peak intensity of the excited autofluorescence spectrum is related to the composition of the arterial wall. The higher autofluorescence intensity in the range between approximately 480 and 630 nm for grossly calcified tissue compared to normal or noncalcified atherosclerotic tissue is used to produce maps of the arterial wall. These images delineate the calcified areas of the sample with good spatial resolution. If this technique can be adapted to the endoscopic visualization of arteries in vivo (angios, Copy), it could become an important tool for the diagnosis of atherosclerosis and for the monitoring of atheroma ablation during laser angioplasty.