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Non-invasive determination of port wine stain anatomy and physiology for optimal laser treatment strategies.


The treatment of port wine stains (PWSs) using a flashlamp-pumped pulsed dye laser is often performed using virtually identical irradiation parameters. Although encouraging clinical results have been reported, we propose that lasers will only reach their full potential provided treatment parameters match individual PWS anatomy and physiology. The purpose of this paper is to review the progress made on the technical development and clinical implementation of (i) infrared tomography (IRT), optical reflectance spectroscopy (ORS) and optical low-coherence reflectometry (OLCR) to obtain in vivo diagnostic data on individual PWS anatomy and physiology and (ii) models of light and heat propagation, predicting irreversible vascular injury in human skin, to select optimal laser wavelength, pulse duration, spot size and radiant exposure for complete PWS blanching in the fewest possible treatment sessions. Although non-invasive optical sensing techniques may provide significant diagnostic data, development of a realistic model will require a better understanding of relevant mechanisms for irreversible vascular injury.

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