Laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) spectra of calcified human heart-valve tissue and LIF spectra of macroscopic calcinosis fragments dissected from human heart valves were compared with LIF spectra of pig myocardium tissues. Excitation was provided by an excimer laser with wavelength λ = 248 nm. Fluorescence bands that were due to mineral and organic tissue components were identified by measurement of LIF spectra of macroscopic fragments of calcified tissues that had been heat treated at 700 °C. The studies showed that LIF spectra of calcified tissues include fluorescence emission from tryptophan, collagen, elastin, and a mineral component of tissue, hydroxylapatite. The observed differences in LIF spectra of normal and calcified tissues with different pathologies may result not only from calcification-induced changes in relative collagen and elastin concentrations but also from additional (absent in normal heart tissue) fluorescence of hydroxylapatite. The calcification-induced changes in the LIF spectra of human heart-valve tissues, characterized by a 330/450 nm ratio, were found to be quite appreciable, which suggests that this ratio can be used with LIF measurements to evaluate the degree of heart-tissue calcification.
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