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J Biomed Opt. 2014 Aug;19(8):086019. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.19.8.086019.

Noncontact imaging of burn depth and extent in a porcine model using spatial frequency domain imaging.

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Modulated Imaging Inc., Beckman Laser Institute Photonic Incubator, 1002 Health Sciences Road, Irvine, California 92617, United States.
Vanderbilt University, Department of Plastic Surgery, Cell and Developmental Biology, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, United States.


The standard of care for clinical assessment of burn severity and extent lacks a quantitative measurement. In this work, spatial frequency domain imaging (SFDI) was used to measure 48 thermal burns of graded severity (superficial partial, deep partial, and full thickness) in a porcine model. Functional (total hemoglobin and tissue oxygen saturation) and structural parameters (tissue scattering) derived from the SFDI measurements were monitored over 72 h for each burn type and compared to gold standard histological measurements of burn depth. Tissue oxygen saturation (stO₂) and total hemoglobin (ctHbT) differentiated superficial partial thickness burns from more severe burn types after 2 and 72 h, respectively (p < 0.01), but were unable to differentiate deep partial from full thickness wounds in the first 72 h. Tissue scattering parameters separated superficial burns from all burn types immediately after injury (p < 0.01), and separated all three burn types from each other after 24 h (p < 0.01). Tissue scattering parameters also showed a strong negative correlation to histological burn depth as measured by vimentin immunostain (r² > 0.89). These results show promise for the use of SFDI-derived tissue scattering as a correlation to burn depth and the potential to assess burn depth via a combination of SFDI functional and structural parameters.

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