Background and objective: This report presents analytical modelling of the influence of wavelength on the amount of volumetric rate of heat produced in dermal blood vessels by millisecond laser radiation.
Study design/materials and methods: A new anatomical model is proposed that represents port wine stains as well as telangiectatic lesions. It consists of a target blood vessel, representing the deepest dermal blood vessel that requires irreversible injury, and a layer of whole blood, representing all other dermal blood vessels above the target vessel. The laser light that interacts with the blood vessels is assumed to be diffuse. Selective photothermolysis is the basis for the analysis. We consider wavelengths between 577 nm and 600 nm, the argon laser wavelengths at 488/515 nm, and the frequency doubled Nd:YAG laser wavelength at 532 nm.
Results: The rate of volumetric heat production of absorbed laser light in the target blood vessel is expressed analytically as a function of blood absorption, the concentration of additional dermal blood, and the depth of the target vessel.
Conclusion: The model explains why 585 nm is a good compromise for treating port wine stains that vary widely in number of dermal blood vessels. It predicts that wavelengths between 577 nm and 582 nm are excellent for the treatment of port wine stains in young children, and it suggests a possible explanation as to why the argon laser is sometimes said to be capable of treating dark mature port wine stains. The copper vapour laser wavelength at 578 nm, and the frequency doubled Nd:YAG laser wavelength at 532 nm, are predicted to be suitable for the treatment of port wine stains that contain, respectively, a small to moderate and a moderate number of dermal blood vessels. When laser beam spotsize becomes smaller, the best wavelength for producing maximal rate of heat in the target vessel is predicted to shift to 577 nm.