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Photoacoustic Oxygenation Quantification in Patients with Raynaud's: First-in-Human Results

John R. Eisenbrey, Maria Stanczak, Flemming Forsberg, Fabian A. Mendoza-Ballesteros, Andrej Lyshchik
Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology2018
The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of photoacoustic imaging for quantifying fingertip oxygenation as an approach to diagnosing and monitoring Raynaud's phenomenon. After 30 min of acclimation to room temperature, 22 patients (7 patients with secondary Raynaud's associated to Scleroderma and 15 healthy controls) provided informed consent to undergo fingertip Doppler imaging and high-frequency photoacoustic imaging before and 5, 15 and 30 min after cold stimulus (submerged hand in a 15 °C water bath for 1 min). High-frequency ultrasound and photoacoustic imaging was performed on the nail bed of each patient's second through fifth finger on their dominant hand, using a Vevo 2100 LAZR system with an LZ-250 probe (Fujifilm VisualSonics, Toronto, ON, Canada) in oxy-hemoglobin quantification mode. During each exam, volumetric data across a 3-mm span of data was acquired to produce a volumetric image of percent oxygenation and hemoglobin concentration. Changes in fingertip oxygenation between Raynaud's patients and healthy volunteers were compared, using receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analysis. Photoacoustic signal was detected in both the nail bed and nailfold in all study participants. Doppler ultrasound resulted in poor differentiation of Raynaud's patients from healthy volunteers, with an area under the ROC curve (Az) of 0.51. Photoacoustic imaging demonstrated improved accuracy at baseline (Az= 0.72), which improved when quantifying normalized changes after cold stimulus (Az= 0.89 5-min post stimulus, Az= 0.91 15-min post stimulus, and Az= 0.85 after stimulus). Oxygenation levels derived using photoacoustic imaging are able to identify patients with Raynaud's and safely evaluate their response to a cold stimulus over time.
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