A pilot Raman microspectroscopy study of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded, and deparaffinized sections from the same ovarian normal and malignant tissues was carried out. This approach was considered in order to evaluate the suitability of these ex vivo tissue handling procedures in discrimination as well as biochemical characterization. The spectra of formalin-fixed normal and malignant tissues exhibited no contamination due to formalin, which is indicated by the absence of strong formalin peaks; spectral features also show significant differences for normal and malignant tissues. The differences between spectral profiles of deparaffinized normal and malignant tissues are subtle and spectra show few residual sharp peaks of paraffin. Complete dominance of paraffin swamping signals from tissues was observed in the spectra of paraffin-embedded tissues. Principal components analysis (PCA), which was employed for discrimination of tissue type, provided good discrimination for formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue spectra. PCA of deparaffinized tissues resulted in a poor classification with significant overlap among the clusters. Thus, this study indicates that formalin fixation is the most suitable among the three procedures employed in the study. Significant differences between spectral profiles of normal and malignant formalin-fixed tissues can not only be exploited for discrimination but can also provide information on biochemical characteristics of the tissues. Deparaffinized tissues provide poor discrimination and information on tissue biochemistry is lost. Paraffin-embedded tissues may provide good discrimination, but predominance of paraffin in the spectra could jeopardize biochemical characterization. Prospectively, as a result of the better availability of paraffin-embedded tissues and problems associated with frozen sectioning of formalin-fixed tissues, the results of this study using paraffin-embedded tissues are very encouraging.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry