The pituitary gland under infrared light – in search of a representative spectrum for homogeneous regions
The pituitary gland is a small but vital organ in the human body. It is located at the base of the brain and is often described as the master gland due to its multiple functions. The pituitary gland secretes and stores hormones, such as the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), growth hormone (hGH), prolactin, gonadotropins, and luteinizing hormones, as well as the antidiuretic hormone (ADH). A proper diagnosis of pituitary disorders is of utmost importance as this organ participates in regulating a variety of body functions. Typical histopathological analysis provides much valuable information, but it gives no insight into the biochemical background of the changes that occur within the gland. One approach that could be used to evaluate the biochemistry of tissue sections obtained from pituitary disorders is Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR) spectromicroscopy. In order to collect diagnostically valuable information large areas of tissue must be investigated. This work focuses on obtaining a unique and representative FTIR spectrum characteristic of one type of cell architecture within a sample. The idea presented is based on using hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) for data evaluation to search for uniform patterns within samples from the perspective of FTIR spectra. The results obtained demonstrate that FTIR spectromicroscopy, combined with proper statistical evaluation, can be treated as a complementary method for histopathological analysis and ipso facto can increase the sensitivity and specificity for detecting various disorders not only for the pituitary gland, but also for other human tissues.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Optical Diagnosis (2014)