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15 October 2012 Reflective THz and MR imaging of burn wounds: a potential clinical validation of THz contrast mechanisms
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Terahertz (THz) imaging is an expanding area of research in the field of medical imaging due to its high sensitivity to changes in tissue water content. Previously reported in vivo rat studies demonstrate that spatially resolved hydration mapping with THz illumination can be used to rapidly and accurately detect fluid shifts following induction of burns and provide highly resolved spatial and temporal characterization of edematous tissue. THz imagery of partial and full thickness burn wounds acquired by our group correlate well with burn severity and suggest that hydration gradients are responsible for the observed contrast. This research aims to confirm the dominant contrast mechanism of THz burn imaging using a clinically accepted diagnostic method that relies on tissue water content for contrast generation to support the translation of this technology to clinical application. The hydration contrast sensing capabilities of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), specifically T2 relaxation times and proton density values N(H), are well established and provide measures of mobile water content, lending MRI as a suitable method to validate hydration states of skin burns. This paper presents correlational studies performed with MR imaging of ex vivo porcine skin that confirm tissue hydration as the principal sensing mechanism in THz burn imaging. Insights from this preliminary research will be used to lay the groundwork for future, parallel MRI and THz imaging of in vivo rat models to further substantiate the clinical efficacy of reflective THz imaging in burn wound care.
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Neha Bajwa, Bryan Nowroozi, Shijun Sung, James Garritano, Ashkan Maccabi, Priyamvada Tewari, Martin Culjat, Rahul Singh, Jeffry Alger, Warren Grundfest, and Zachary Taylor "Reflective THz and MR imaging of burn wounds: a potential clinical validation of THz contrast mechanisms", Proc. SPIE 8496, Terahertz Emitters, Receivers, and Applications III, 84960X (15 October 2012);

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