Laser speckle imaging (LSI) enables visualization of relative blood flow and perfusion in the skin. It is frequently applied to monitor treatment of vascular malformations such as port wine stain birthmarks, and measure changes in perfusion due to peripheral vascular disease. We developed a computational Monte Carlo simulation of laser speckle contrast imaging to quantify how tissue optical properties, blood vessel depths and speeds, and tissue perfusion affect speckle contrast values originating from coherent excitation. The simulated tissue geometry consisted of multiple layers to simulate the skin, or incorporated an inclusion such as a vessel or tumor at different depths. Our simulation used a 30x30mm uniform flat light source to optically excite the region of interest in our sample to better mimic wide-field imaging. We used our model to simulate how dynamically scattered photons from a buried blood vessel affect speckle contrast at different lateral distances (0-1mm) away from the vessel, and how these speckle contrast changes vary with depth (0-1mm) and flow speed (0-10mm/s). We applied the model to simulate perfusion in the skin, and observed how different optical properties, such as epidermal melanin concentration (1%-50%) affected speckle contrast. We simulated perfusion during a systolic forearm occlusion and found that contrast decreased by 35% (exposure time = 10ms). Monte Carlo simulations of laser speckle contrast give us a tool to quantify what regions of the skin are probed with laser speckle imaging, and measure how the tissue optical properties and blood flow affect the resulting images.
Caitlin Regan, Carole K. Hayakawa, and Bernard Choi, "Modeling laser speckle imaging of perfusion in the skin (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9689, Photonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics XII, 96890D (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 13, 2016; Published: 27 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2212237.4828028228001.
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