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Tissue viability imaging: mapping skin erythema


Gert E. Nilsson
WheelsBridge AB
Lovsbergsvägen 13
S-58937 Linköping
Tel: +46 708 765190


Background: Tissue Viability Imaging (TiVi) is an emerging bioengineering technology intended for two-dimensional mapping of skin erythema and blanching. Before TiVi can be effectively used in studies of diseased or damaged skin, the variability in normal skin red blood cell concentration (RBCconc) requires evaluation.

Objective: To demonstrate how TiVi maps spatial and temporal variations in normal skin RBCconc at the dorsal side of the hand at rest and during post-occlusive hyperemia.

Methods: Short-term and day-to-day variations in skin RBCconc were quantified at the dorsal side of the hand in four healthy volunteers at rest. In a separate study, the increase in skin RBCconc was recorded during post-occlusive hyperemia.

Results: A lower skin RBCconc (179–184 TiVi units) was observed at the back of the hand and base of the thumb compared with areas adjacent to the nailfoldfold region of the fingers (190–213 TiVi units). The short-term variation (within 70 s) was <2% in all areas of the dorsal side of the hand, while day-to-day variations were in the range 5–7% in the back of the hand and up to 10% in areas adjacent to the nailfold region. In the post-occlusive hyperemia phase, up to a 60% increase in skin RBCconc was observed in the early part of the reactive hyperemia phase. This increase in skin RBCconc successively decreased but remained about 18% above the pre-occlusion level after 30 min.

Conclusion: Establishment of healthy skin RBCconc reference values is important for the design of versatile test procedures for assessment of skin damage caused by vibration tools, chemical exposure or peripheral vascular disease.