6 March 2018 In vivo ultrasonic measures of skin layer thicknesses at various body locations and postures
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Despite the use of protective equipment, burns are a significant source of battlefield injury particularly for operators of military vehicles. Burn severity is classified by the depth of heat penetration which is dependent on skin thickness. Current ASTM values for skin thickness used in burn injury models are based on forearm estimates. However, variations in skin thickness with body location and posture may be critical to accurately estimate burn injury and develop thermal protective equipment. This study used ultrasound to quantify epidermis and dermis skin layer thicknesses at various locations and postures on a human body. Superficial ultrasound images of seventeen male military personnel were obtained using a 22MHz linear probe (LOGIQe, GE). Three images were taken at twelve different locations. Hand locations were scanned in a neutral posture as well as a clenched-fist posture akin to grasping a steering wheel while operating a military vehicle. Measurements of the epidermis and dermis were obtained at each location and mean results were taken. Measured values were compared to the ASTM standard using a one sample t-test. In general, measured epidermis and dermis layer thickness was significantly larger compared to the current standard. The effect of hand posture was determined using a two sample t-test. Dermis values significantly decreased with the clenched fist posture while the epidermis remained unchanged between the two postures. Obtaining in-vivo skin thicknesses across the body will allow for more accurate predictions of burn injury and more efficient thermal protective equipment.
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Sarah E. Cameron, Sarah E. Cameron, Paola A. D'Angelo, Paola A. D'Angelo, Margaret A. Auerbach, Margaret A. Auerbach, John W. Ramsay, John W. Ramsay, "In vivo ultrasonic measures of skin layer thicknesses at various body locations and postures", Proc. SPIE 10580, Medical Imaging 2018: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography, 105801B (6 March 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2293592; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2293592

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