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Noninvasive clinical assessment of port-wine stain birthmarks using current and future optical imaging technology: a review


  • Funding sources
    The authors acknowledge salary support provided by the NIH NCRR Laser and Medical Microbeam Program (LAMMP: P41EB05890), the NIH SBIRs 1R43RR030696-01A1, R01HD065536 and 1R43RR025985-01, the Military Photomedicine Program (AFOSR grant no. FA9550-08-1-0384), R01 AR054885, the Beckman Foundation and the Hazem Chehabi BLI Research Fellowship.

  • Conflicts of interest
    A.J.D. is a cofounder of the company and owns equity interests in Modulated Imaging Inc., which collaborated in the development of the spatial frequency domain imaging (SFDI) system reviewed here.

Seyed A. Sharif.


Port-wine stain (PWS) birthmarks are one class of benign congenital vascular malformation. Laser therapy is the most successful treatment modality of PWS. Unfortunately, this approach has limited efficacy, with only 10% of patients experiencing complete blanching of the PWS. To address this problem, several research groups have developed technologies and methods designed to study treatment outcome and improve treatment efficacy. This article reviews seven optical imaging techniques currently in use or under development to assess treatment efficacy, focusing on: reflectance spectrophotometers/tristimulus colorimeters; laser Doppler flowmetry and laser Doppler imaging; cross-polarized diffuse reflectance colour imaging system; reflectance confocal microscopy; optical coherence tomography; spatial frequency domain imaging; and laser speckle imaging.