An accurate diagnosis of burns and pressure ulcers in the early stages can be made by computerized image processing. This study describes a critical assessment of potential methodologies for noninvasive wound evaluation using a color imaging system. We also developed a method for quantifying histological readings and applied these techniques to a porcine animal model of wound formation. Differences in calibrated hue between injured and noninjured skin provided a repeatable differentiation of wound severity for situations when the time of injury was known. This color analysis allowed statistically significant differentiation of mild, moderate, and severe injuries within 30 minutes after the application of the injury. It was more difficult to distinguish wound severity one to four days later, however the correlation re-emerged when the wounds were five to seven days old. This technique could be adapted for assessing and tracking wound severity in humans in a clinical setting.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Manuscript received July 31, 1995; revised August 29, 1996. This work was supported by the Biomedical Engineering Center of the University of Minnesota and the National Science Foundation (NSF)/CTS under Grant 9501205. The Associate Editor responsible for coordinating the review of this paper and recommending its publication was M. W. Vannier. Asterisk indicates corresponding author.
- Color model
- Pressure ulcer