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Suction blister lesions and epithelialization monitored by optical coherence tomography

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


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BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Our objective was to assess epithelialization of suction blister lesions by optical coherence tomography (OCT) and benchmark it to histology using epidermal thickness (ET) as the primary outcome.

METHODS: Thirty-two healthy volunteers were recruited to Study 1 and 2. One 10-mm suction blister was raised on each buttock, and the blister roof was excised. Lesions were covered with moisture-retaining dressing. In Study 1, the lesions were OCT-scanned on day 0 (D0), D2 and D4 and excised for histological examination. In Study 2, the progress of epithelialization and skin barrier function were monitored to D14.

RESULTS: ET increased from D0 to D2 by 46 μm (P<.001) and from D2 to D4 by 19 μm (P=.004). Compared with histology, OCT overestimated the presence of the epithelium (P<.0001) and ET on D4. Reliable measurements were obtained when the ET of the lesions reached the ET of the normal epidermis from D5-D7 and onwards. The ET development was reflected in decreased transepidermal water loss.

CONCLUSION: We found that the OCT technique was poorly discriminative with respect to the neoepithelium and the moist lesion surface material in the early postinjury period. In the later stages, OCT seemed valuable for estimating the advancement of epithelialization.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSkin research and technology : official journal of International Society for Bioengineering and the Skin (ISBS) [and] International Society for Digital Imaging of Skin (ISDIS) [and] International Society for Skin Imaging (ISSI)
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 53601595