Spatial Frequency Domain Imaging (SFDI) of clinical burns: A case report

Burns Open. 2020 Apr;4(2):67-71. doi: 10.1016/j.burnso.2020.02.004. Epub 2020 Feb 19.


While visual assessment by a clinician is the standard of care for burn severity evaluations, new technologies at various stages of development are attempting to add objectivity to this practice by quantifying burn severity. Assessment accuracy generally improves after the burn injury has progressed, but early assessments that correctly identify superficial partial and deep partial burns have the potential to lead to more prompt treatments and shorter recovery times. To date, Spatial Frequency Domain Imaging (SFDI) has only been used in animal models of burns, but has shown the potential to categorize burns accurately at earlier time points. Here we examine the potential for SFDI to assess burn severity in clinical patients. We also utilize Laser Speckle Imaging (LSI), an FDA cleared non-invasive imaging technology that typically measures blood perfusion in order to evaluate burns in clinical patients. We present a case series of two patients, both with partial thickness burns of varying severity. Partial thickness burns are often difficult for clinicians to categorize based on visual appearance alone. SFDI and LSI were both performed on each patient at approximately 24 and 72 h after their respective burn incidents. Each technique was able to render spatially resolved information that enabled improved assessment accuracy for each burn. This represents the first publication of SFDI applied to clinical burn patients after being successfully utilized in animal models, and highlights the potential for SFDI as a feasible tool for the timely categorization of burn severity.

Keywords: Burns; Clinical; Humans; Laser Speckle Imaging; Spatial Frequency Domain Imaging.