Review of Modern Techniques in Detecting Port-wine Stain Response to Laser Therapy


Ilona J. Frieden MD , 400 Parnassus Avenue, Box 0316, A-309, San Francisco, CA 94143-0316.


Background. Traditional mechanisms of assessing port-wine stain response to laser therapy have rested mainly on subjective determinations by physician and patient. However, the wide variation in treatment response poses a profound need for objective devices to measure treatment outcomes so that maximum effectiveness of therapy can be achieved without unnecessary repeat treatments.

Objective. The purpose of this paper will be to review noninvasive techniques to measure port-wine stain response to laser therapy.

Methods. This report is based on a review of medical and bioscience literature.

Results. Several techniques including laser Doppler, reflectance spectrophotometry, tristimulus colorimetry, and videomicroscopy have been developed to address the need for objective measurement devices.

Conclusion. While many instruments are available, these techniques are limited by cost, small test size area, and/or inconclusive correlation with clinical response. A number of experimental techniques may circumvent many of the problems inherent in currently-available commercial technologies.