Reproducibility of laser Doppler imager flux measurements within ischemic or venous ulcers and adjacent skin

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The laser Doppler imager (LDI) is a device that maps the local distribution of the laser Doppler flux of tissues. To facilitate the interpretation of LDI measurements, we investigated their reproducibility.


We measured 10 arterial ulcers, 10 venous ulcers and their adjacent skin by the use of a LDI. The means were calculated of individual coefficients of variation±standard error of mean (meanCV±SEM) of measurements on the same day, on 5 different days and at specific time points (0, 30, 60, 90 and 120 min) during the application of PGE1 on 2 different days.


The meanCV±SEM of measurements on the same day were 9.3±0.9% (ulcer), 9.8±0.9% (skin), and on 5 different days they were 21.9±1.9% (ulcer) and 28.6±2.4% (skin). Ulcer measurements on 5 different days were significantly more reproducible than skin measurements, if differences were calculated for all 20 patients or for the 10 patients with venous ulcers separately (P<0.05). During the application of PGE1 for 120 min, meanCV±SEM ranged from 19.2±4.0% to 26.9±5.0% (ulcer) and from 20.5±4.1% to 29.5±3.9% (skin). CV of skin measurements of all 20 patients at 0 min were significantly lower than those after 120 min of PGE1-application (P<0.05).


Our results show an excellent reproducibility of LDI measurements on a single day. The reproducibility of measurements on 5 different days or during the application of PGE1 over a period of 120 min was poorer. Because of the poorer reproducibility, more patients are needed to study long-term or drug effects.

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