Raman microspectroscopy of human aortic valves: investigation of the local and global biochemical changes associated with calcification in aortic stenosis
Raman microimaging was applied to study the biochemical composition in the aortic valves obtained from patients with calcific aortic stenosis. This progressive disease affects an increasing number of elderly patients with hyperlipidemia and hypercholesterolemia. Lipid accumulation in the tissue is associated with pathogenesis and progression of cardiac valve calcification. This is in line with our finding that lipid deposits, predominantly composed of cholesterol and its esters, are frequently co-localized with calcium salt deposits, even at an early stage of their development. Overall changes in the biochemical composition of the tissue upon pathology progression are less obvious. Globally, although the cholesterol level rises, the relative lipid-to-protein content decreases. The results broaden the knowledge of biochemical alterations in dysfunctional human aortic valves and may be helpful in designing lipid lowering therapies.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Optical Diagnosis (2014)