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We present the design of a fiber-optic gas refractometer that enables spectrally resolved measurements of both real and imaginary parts of the complex refractive index. The proposed concept is based on a Mach-Zehnder-type interferometer with a hollow-core photonic bandgap fiber in one of the interferometer’s arms. The fiber is used simultaneously as an optical waveguide and an analyte containing cell. We demonstrate the performance of the device by measuring the complete complex refractive index of an air-acetylene gas mixture within the optical C-band. The introduced concept leads towards versatile applications in optics as well as atomic and molecular physics.