Journal article

Full-Field Laser-Doppler Imaging and Its Physiological Significance for Tissue Blood Perfusion

Using Monte Carlo simulations for a semi-infinite medium representing a skeletal muscle tissue, it is demonstrated that the zero- and first-order moments of the power spectrum for a representative pixel of a full-field laser-Doppler imager behave differently from classical laser-Doppler flowmetry. In particular, the zero-order moment has a very low sensitivity to tissue blood volume changes, and it becomes completely insensitive if the probability for a photon to interact with a moving red blood cell is above 0.05. It is shown that the loss in sensitivity is due to the strong forward scatter of the propagating photons in biological tissues (i.e., anisotropy factor g = 0.9). The first-order moment is linearly related to the root mean square of the red blood cell velocity (the Brownian component), and there is also a positive relationship with tissue blood volume. The most common physiological interpretation of the first-order moment is as tissue blood volume times expectation of the blood velocity (in probabilistic terms). In this sense, the use of the first-order moment appears to be a reasonable approach for qualitative real-time blood flow monitoring, but it does not allow us to obtain information on blood velocity or volume independently. Finally, it is shown that the spatial and temporal resolution trade-off imposed by the CMOS detectors, used in full-field laser-Doppler hardware, may lead to measurements that vary oppositely with the underlying physiological quantities. Further improvements on detectors' sampling rate will overcome this limitation.

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