A Systematic Review of the Evolution of Laser Doppler Techniques in Burn Depth Assessment
Traditional methods for judgment of burn depth by clinical evaluation of the wound based on appearance and sensation remain in wide use but are subject to individual variation by examiner. In addition to the clinical difficulties with burn wound management, observer dependency of wound assessment complicates clinical trials of burn wound therapy. A laser Doppler flowmeter with a newly designed multichannel probe was used to measure burn wound perfusion as a tool to predict wound outcome. Wounds that healed spontaneously in fewer than 21 days showed higher average perfusion levels than those that required excision and grafting or that were not healed by day 21 after the burn. Laser Doppler flowmetry had a positive predictive value of 100% for nonhealing wounds on postburn days 1 and 3. These data suggest that laser Doppler flowmetry is a potentially useful tool for burn wound assessment.