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13 February 2007 Monitoring bruise age using visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy
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The ability to determine the age of a bruise of unknown age mechanism is important in matters of domestic and child abuse and forensics. While physicians are asked to make clinical judgment on the age of a bruise using color and tenderness, studies have shown that a physicians estimate is highly inaccurate and in cases no better than chance alone. We present here the temporal progression of reflection spectrum collected from accidentally inflicted contusions in adult and child study participants with a synopsis of the observed phenomena. Reflection spectra collected using a portable fiber optic reflection spectrometer can track the increase in extravasated hemoglobin from trauma caused blood vessel rupture and subsequent removal of this hemoglobin occurring concurrent with an increase in the absorption attributed to the breakdown product bilirubin. We hypothesize that this time dependent pattern can be used to determine the age of an unknown bruise in an individual provided rate constant information for the patient can be determined in a controlled calibration bruise. Using reflection spectra to estimate bruise age can provide a rapid and noninvasive method to improve the ability of physicians in dating the age of a contusion.
© (2007) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
John W. McMurdy, Susan Duffy, and Gregory P. Crawford "Monitoring bruise age using visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy", Proc. SPIE 6434, Optical Tomography and Spectroscopy of Tissue VII, 643426 (13 February 2007);

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