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Int J Burns Trauma. 2013 Apr 18;3(2):72-7. Print 2013.

The critical evaluation of laser Doppler imaging in determining burn depth.

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  • 1Department of Plastic Surgery, Mersey Burns and Plastic Surgery Unit, Whiston Hospital Liverpool, L35 5DR, UK.


This review article discusses the use of laser Doppler imaging as a clinimetric tool to determine burn depth in patients presenting to hospital. Laser Doppler imaging is a very sensitive and specific tool to measure burn depth, easy to use, reliable and acceptable to the patient due to its quick and non-invasive nature. Improvements in validity, cost and reproducibility would improve its use in clinical practice however it is difficult to satisfy the entire evaluation criterion all the time. It remains a widely accepted tool to assess burn depth, with an ever-increasing body of evidence to support its use, as discussed in this review. Close collaboration between clinicians, statisticians, epidemiologists and psychologists is necessary in order to develop the evidence base for the use of laser Doppler imaging as standard in burn depth assessment and therefore act as an influencing factor in management decisions.


Burns; burns assessment; clinimetrics; laser Doppler imaging

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