In vivo imaging of human burn injuries with polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography

K.H. Kim, M. C. Pierce, G. N. Maguluri, B. H. Park, S.J. Yoon, M. Lydan, R. Sheridan, J.F. de Boer

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The accurate determination of burn depth is critical in the clinical management of burn wounds. Polarization- sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) has been proposed as a potentially non-invasive method for determining burn depth by measuring thermally induced changes in the structure and birefringence of skin, and has been investigated in pre-clinical burn studies with animal models and ex vivo human skin. In this study, we applied PS-OCT to the in-vivo imaging of two pediatric burn patients. Deep and superficial burned skins along with contralateral controls were imaged in 3D. The imaging size was 8 mm 6 mm 2 mm in width, length, and depth in the air respectively, and the imaging time was approximately 6 s per volume. Superficially burned skins exhibited the same layered structure as the contralateral controls, but more visible vasculature and reduced birefringence compared to the contralateral controls. In contrast, a deeply burned skin showed loss of the layered structure, almost absent vasculature, and smaller birefringence compared to superficial burns. This study suggested the vasculature and birefringence as parameters for characterizing burn wounds. © 2012 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)066012-066012
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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