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Proceedings Paper

Spectroscopic detection of the blanch response at the heel of the foot: a possible diagnostic for stage I pressure ulcers
Author(s): Elicia M. Kohlenberg; Jeanne Zanca; David M. Brienza; Michelle A. Levasseur; Michael G. Sowa
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Paper Abstract

Pressure ulcers (sores) can occur when there is constant pressure being applied to tissue for extended periods of time. Immobile people are particularly prone to this problem. Ideally, pressure damage is detected at an early stage, pressure relief is applied and the pressure ulcer is averted. One of the hallmarks of pressure damaged skin is an obliterated blanch response due to compromised microcirculation near the surface of the skin. Visible reflectance spectroscopy can noninvasively probe the blood circulation of the upper layers of skin by measuring the electronic transitions arising from hemoglobin, the primary oxygen carrying protein in blood. A spectroscopic test was developed on a mixed population of 30 subjects to determine if the blanch response could be detected in healthy skin with high sensitivity and specificity regardless of the pigmentation of the skin. Our results suggest that a spectroscopic based blanch response test can accurately detect the blanching of healthy tissue and has the potential to be developed into a screening test for early stage I pressure ulcers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 October 2005
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5969, Photonic Applications in Biosensing and Imaging, 59691J (14 October 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.628219
Show Author Affiliations
Elicia M. Kohlenberg, National Research Council of Canada (Canada)
Jeanne Zanca, Univ. of Pittsburgh (United States)
David M. Brienza, Univ. of Pittsburgh (United States)
Michelle A. Levasseur, National Research Council of Canada (Canada)
Michael G. Sowa, National Research Council of Canada (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5969:
Photonic Applications in Biosensing and Imaging
Brian C. Wilson; Richard I. Hornsey; Warren C. W. Chan; Ulrich J. Krull; Robert A. Weersink; Kui Yu, Editor(s)

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