Evaluation of optical coherence tomography as a non-invasive diagnostic tool in cutaneous wound healing
The monitoring of wound-healing processes is indispensable for the therapeutic effectiveness and improved care of chronic wounds. Histological sections provide the best morphological assessment of wound recovery, but cause further tissue destruction and increase the risk of infection. Therefore, it is reasonable to apply a diagnostic tool that allows a non-invasive and reliable observation of morphological changes in wound healing.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an imaging technique for in vivo evaluation of skin diseases with a resolution close to histopathology. The aim of this study was to investigate whether OCT is suited to display the phases of wound healing. For this purpose, six patients with chronic wounds were objectively characterized by OCT during a period of 2 weeks.
Comparable results between histological findings and OCT were achieved. OCT allowed the detection of partial loss of the epidermis, vasoconstriction, vasodilatation and epithelialization.
Consequently, OCT could be a potential non-invasive diagnostic tool for the characterization and monitoring of cutaneous wound-healing processes over time.