Raman Spectroscopy of Individual Cervical Exfoliated Cells in Premalignant and Malignant Lesions Article uri icon


  • Cervical cancer is frequent neoplasia. Currently, the diagnostic approach includes cervical cytology, colposcopy, and histopathology studies; combining detection techniques increases the sensitivity and specificity of the tests. Raman spectroscopy is a high-resolution technique that supports the diagnosis of malignancies. This study aimed to evaluate the Raman spectroscopy technique discriminating between healthy and premalignant/malignant cervical cells. We included 81 exfoliative cytology samples, 29 in the “healthy group” (negative cytology), and 52 in the “CIN group” (premalignant/malignant lesions). We obtained the nucleus and cytoplasm Raman spectra of individual cells. We tested the spectral differences between groups using Permutational Multivariate Analysis of Variance (PERMANOVA) and Canonical Analysis of Principal Coordinates (CAP). We found that Raman spectra have increased intensity in premalignant/malignant cells compared with healthy cells. The characteristic Raman bands corresponded to proteins and nucleic acids, in concordance with the increased replication and translation processes in premalignant/malignant states. We found a classification efficiency of 76.5%25 and 82.7%25 for cytoplasmic and nuclear Raman spectra, respectively; cell nucleus Raman spectra showed a sensitivity of 84.6%25 in identifying cervical anomalies. The classification efficiency and sensitivity obtained for nuclear spectra suggest that Raman spectroscopy could be helpful in the screening and diagnosis of premalignant lesions and cervical cancer. © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

publication date

  • 2022-01-01