Intraoperative, real-time monitoring of blood flow dynamics associated with laser surgery of port wine stain birthmarks.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Lasers in surgery and medicine, Volume 47, Issue 6, p.469-75 (2015)


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Port-wine stain (PWS) birthmarks affect āˆ¼22 million people worldwide. After several treatment sessions, complete disappearance of the PWS occurs in only āˆ¼10% of treated patients. There is a need to develop a new strategy to improve the efficacy of each treatment session and the overall treatment outcome. The study objective was to determine how intraoperative measurements of blood flow correlate with treatment response assessed several weeks post treatment.

STUDY DESIGN/MATERIALS AND METHODS: We employed Laser Speckle Imaging (LSI) to measure intraoperative blood-flow dynamics. We collected data from 24 subjects undergoing laser therapy for facial PWS birthmarks. Photographs were taken before treatment and at a follow-up visit, and analyzed by two expert observers.

RESULTS: Intraoperative LSI enables real-time monitoring of blood-flow dynamics in response to laser treatment and can inform clinicians on the need for focused re-treatment. The degree of PWS blanching achieved is positively correlated with the log-transformed acute blood-flow reduction (Pā€‰=ā€‰0.022).

CONCLUSION: LSI is a simple, intraoperative monitoring tool during laser therapy of PWS birthmarks. LSI provides a single value for blood flow that correlates well with the degree of blanching achieved with laser therapy.