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January 1992

Burn Depth Estimation Using Indocyanine Green Fluorescence

Author Affiliations

From Harvard Medical School (Drs Green, Anderson, and Nishioka and Mr Bua), and the Department of Dermatology (Dr Green) and the Wellman Laboratory of Photomedicine (Mr Bua and Drs Anderson and Nishioka), Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

Arch Dermatol. 1992;128(1):43-49. doi:10.1001/archderm.1992.01680110053005

• Expedient primary excision of deep dermal and full-thickness burn wounds with subsequent skin grafting is the standard of care in most burn institutions, but differentiating full-thickness from partial-thickness burns is often difficult. Because accurate early assessment of burn depth may improve care, a variety of technical methods have attempted to measure burn depth but these methods have had limited success. We describe a new technique to determine burn depth that uses infrared (840- to 850-nm) fluorescence emission from intravenously administered indocyanine green following excitation with infrared (780 nm) and UV light (369 nm). Full-thickness and partial-thickness burns in hairless rat skin were distinguished based on the infrared-induced and UV-induced fluorescence intensity ratios relative to normal, unburned skin immediately after the burn and on post-burn days 1 through 3 and 7. Dual-wavelength excitation of indocyanine green infrared fluorescence can delineate full-thickness from partial-thickness burns at an early date, allowing prognosis, surgical planning, and early primary excision and grafting.

(Arch Dermatol. 1992;128:43-49)

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