Background The purpose of our study is to use a noninvasive tomographic imaging technique with high spatial resolution to characterize and monitor biological tissue responses associated with laser thermal injury. Methods Optical doppler tomography (ODT) combines laser doppler flowmetry (LDF) with optical coherence tomography (OCT) to obtain high resolution tomographic velocity and structural images of static and moving constituents in highly scattering biological tissues. A SurgiLase XJ150 carbon dioxide (CO2) laser using a continuous mode of 3 watts (W) was used to create first, second or third degree burns on anesthetized Sprague–Dawley rats. Additional parameters for laser thermal injury were assessed as well. Results The rationale for using ODT in the evaluation of laser thermal injury offers a means of constructing a high resolution tomographic image of the structure and perfusion of laser damaged skin. In the velocity images, the blood flow is coded at 1300 μm/s and 0 velocity, 1000 μm/s and 0 velocity, 700 μm/s and 0 velocity adjacent to the first, second, and third degree injuries, respectively. Conclusion ODT produces exceptional spatial resolution while having a non-invasive way of measurement, therefore, ODT is an accurate measuring method for high-resolution fluid flow velocity and structural images for biological tissue with laser thermal injury.
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