Laser Doppler perfusion imaging (LDPI) enables superficial tissue perfusion assessment, but is sensitive to tissue motion not related to blood cells. The aim was to investigate if a polarization technique could reduce movement-induced artifacts. A linearly polarized laser and a cross-polarized filter, placed in front of the detectors, were used to block specular reflection. Measurements were performed with, and without, the polarization filter, at a single site during horizontal and vertical movement of skin tissue (index finger, twelve subjects, n=112) and of a flow model (n=432), with varying surface structures. Measurements were repeated during different flow conditions and at increased skin specular reflection. Statistical analysis was performed using ANOVA models. The perfusion signal was lower (p<0.001, skin and p<0.05, flow model) using the polarization filter, due to movement artifact reduction. No significant influence from surface structure was found when using the polarization filter. Movement artifacts were lower (p<0.05) in the vertical movement direction, however, depending on flow conditions for skin measurements. Increased skin specular reflection gave rise to large movement artifacts without the polarization filter. In conclusion, the polarized LDPI technique reduces movement artifacts and is particularly appropriate when assessing, e.g., ulcers and burns, where specular reflection is high.
2005. Vol. 10, no 6