Serial measurements increase the accuracy of laser Doppler assessment of burn wounds
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Traditional methods of judging 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 multichannel probe was used to measure burn wound perfusion as a tool to predict wound outcome. Serial measurement with laser Doppler flowmetry had an 88% specificity and a positive predictive value of 81% for identifying nonhealing wounds. These results suggest that laser Doppler flowmetry is a potentially useful tool for burn wound assessment.