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Burns. 2001 Jun;27(4):364-71.

Diagnosis of burn depth using laser-induced indocyanine green fluorescence: a preliminary clinical trial.

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  • 1The Joseph M. Still Burn Center, Columbia-Augusta Medical Center, Augusta, GA, USA.


Clinical assessment of burn depth is frequently inaccurate. In order to effectively plan the treatment of burn wounds, an accurate diagnosis of burn depth is desirable. A new method for evaluating the depth of burns by imaging the blood flow through the burned tissue using fluorescence from intravenously injected indocyanine green (ICG) dye illuminated with a 785-nm, near-infrared diode laser array was evaluated. Nine patients and 15 individual burn sites were studied. Five sites were classified by the ICG study as superficial second degree, four were deep-dermal second degree, and six were third degree. Etiology of the injuries included flame, contact burns, and scalds. The date postburn of the study ranged from 1 to 11 days. In all cases, the relative fluorescence levels (e.g. superficial second-degree burns yielded relatively bright fluorescence, third-degree burns appeared much darker than surrounding normal skin) were found to correlate well with actual burn depth as determined by histologic examination of biopsies and intraoperative clinical assessment.

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