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Lasers Med Sci. 2006 Dec;21(4):208-12. Epub 2006 Oct 13.

Laser speckle imaging of dynamic changes in flow during photodynamic therapy.

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  • 1Center for Optical Diagnostics and Therapy, Department of Radiation Oncology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


We present a study investigating the use of laser speckle imaging (LSI) for monitoring blood flow during photodynamic therapy (PDT) utilizing the therapeutic illumination radiation. The coherent nature of a laser source, often used in PDT, offers the possibility of obtaining information on the blood flow without interrupting treatment. We have found that in the rat skin-fold observation chamber, it is possible to monitor the vasculature response to PDT in individual arteries, veins and in tumour microvasculature with significantly higher spatial and temporal resolution than current methods. This illustrates the potential for LSI for monitoring PDT, in particular for vascular-localizing photosensitizers, where current non-invasive methods are difficult because of high absorption due to blood and the specific localization of photosensitizer within the vasculature. However, critical problems need to be further investigated and solved, like the influence of tissue sampling volume, changing of optical properties and movement artefacts from other vessels on the LSI signal. Until then, the real potential of LSI for monitoring blood flow remains of limited value.

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