Observations on the microcirculation of the human burn wound using orthogonal polarization spectral imaging

Stephen M. Milner, Satyanarayan Bhat, Salil Gulati, Giulio Gherardini, Christopher E. Smith, Roger J. Bick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Orthogonal polarization spectral imaging (OPS) utilizes the illumination of the tissue with polarized light within the haemoglobin spectrum. We report here on OPS for the assessment of the skin microcirculation non-invasively through the surface of the human burn wound. This allows inspection of individual capillaries of the cutaneous microcirculation and flow through these vessels in real time. Two distinct microcirculatory patterns were seen. Superficial burns had small visible dermal capillaries studied throughout the field of view. The flow of individual erythrocytes through these capillaries was clearly visible in real-time. Conversely, deep burns showed large thrombosed vessel coursing in a criss-cross fashion. There was marked difference between the mean optical densities for normal skin and superficial burns (65.8 ± 15.6 and 64 ± 14.6, respectively) and deep burns (131.2 ± 31.1). These findings indicate that OPS may have utility in the assessment of cutaneous microcirculation in burns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-319
Number of pages4
JournalBurns
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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