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Radiation burns account for the vast majority of damage by accidental radiation exposure. They are characterized by successive and unpredictable inflammatory bursts that are preceded by a clinically latent postirradiation period. Diagnosis and prognosis of the clinical course of radiation burns have proven to be a difficult task. In a classical clinical setting, no technique can distinguish irradiated versus healthy skin during the clinically latent period, hence development of new tools is required. This work describes a noninvasive technique based on speckle phenomenon, designed to support radiation burn diagnosis and prognosis. Speckle produced by strongly scattering media contains information about their optical properties. The difficulty is to extract significant information from speckle patterns to discriminate between strongly scattering media and to characterize any change. Speckle patterns from irradiated and nonirradiated porcine skins are recorded in vivo several times after radiation exposure. A fractal approach is used in the treatment of speckle patterns. The results show that this technique allows discrimination between healthy and irradiated skin, in particular during the clinically latent period (p<0.01). Parameters extracted from speckle patterns discriminate and vary differently with radiation, which means they represent different information about skin changes.
"Noninvasive radiation burn diagnosis using speckle phenomenon with a fractal approach to processing," Journal of Biomedical Optics 15(2), 027013 (1 March 2010). http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.3394261