Hemoglobin parameters from diffuse reflectance data

Judith R. Mourant, Oana C. Marina, Tiffany M. Hebert, Gurpreet Kaur, Harriet O. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Tissue vasculature is altered when cancer develops. Consequently, noninvasive methods of monitoring blood vessel size, density, and oxygenation would be valuable. Simple spectroscopy employing fiber optic probes to measure backscattering can potentially determine hemoglobin parameters. However, heterogeneity of blood distribution, the dependence of the tissue-volume-sampled on scattering and absorption, and the potential compression of tissue all hinder the accurate determination of hemoglobin parameters. We address each of these issues. A simple derivation of a correction factor for the absorption coefficient, ìa, is presented. This correction factor depends not only on the vessel size, as others have shown, but also on the density of blood vessels. Monte Carlo simulations were used to determine the dependence of an effective pathlength of light through tissue which is parameterized as a ninth-order polynomial function of ìa. The hemoglobin bands of backscattering spectra of cervical tissue are fit using these expressions to obtain effective blood vessel size and density, tissue hemoglobin concentration, and oxygenation. Hemoglobin concentration and vessel density were found to depend on the pressure applied during in vivo acquisition of the spectra. It is also shown that determined vessel size depends on the blood hemoglobin concentration used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number037004
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • cancer detection
  • cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
  • hematocrit
  • hemoglobin concentration
  • vessel diameter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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