Near- and mid-infrared absorption spectra of pure water and aqueous 1.0 g/dL glucose solutions in the wavenumber range 8000-950 cm(-1) were measured in the temperature range 30-42 C in steps of 2 degreesC. Measurements were carried out with an FT-IR spectrometer and a variable pathlength transmission cell controlled within 0.02 degreesC. Pathlengths of 50 mum and 0.4 mm were used in the mid- and near-infrared spectral region, respectively. Difference spectra were used to determine the effect of temperature on the water spectra quantitatively. These spectra were obtained by subtracting the 37 degreesC water spectrum from the spectra measured at other temperatures. The difference spectra reveal that the effect of temperature is highest in the vicinity of the strong absorption bands, with a number of isosbestic points with no temperature dependence and relatively flat plateaus in between. On the basis of these spectra, prospects for and limitations on data analysis for infrared diagnostic methods are discussed. As an example, the absorptive properties of glucose were studied in the same temperature range in order to determine the effect of temperature on the spectral shape of glucose. The change in water absorption associated with the addition of glucose has also been studied. An estimate of these effects is given and is related to the expected level of infrared signals from glucose in humans.