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Correcting for motion artifact in handheld laser speckle images.


Laser speckle imaging (LSI) is a wide-field optical technique that enables superficial blood flow quantification. LSI is normally performed in a mounted configuration to decrease the likelihood of motion artifact. However, mounted LSI systems are cumbersome and difficult to transport quickly in a clinical setting for which portability is essential in providing bedside patient care. To address this issue, we created a handheld LSI device using scientific grade components. To account for motion artifact of the LSI device used in a handheld setup, we incorporated a fiducial marker (FM) into our imaging protocol and determined the difference between highest and lowest speckle contrast values for the FM within each data set (Kbest and Kworst). The difference between Kbest and Kworst in mounted and handheld setups was 8% and 52%, respectively, thereby reinforcing the need for motion artifact quantification. When using a threshold FM speckle contrast value (KFM) to identify a subset of images with an acceptable level of motion artifact, mounted and handheld LSI measurements of speckle contrast of a flow region (KFLOW) in in vitro flow phantom experiments differed by 8%. Without the use of the FM, mounted and handheld KFLOW values differed by 20%. To further validate our handheld LSI device, we compared mounted and handheld data from an in vivo porcine burn model of superficial and full thickness burns. The speckle contrast within the burn region (KBURN) of the mounted and handheld LSI data differed by <4  %   when accounting for motion artifact using the FM, which is less than the speckle contrast difference between superficial and full thickness burns. Collectively, our results suggest the potential of handheld LSI with an FM as a suitable alternative to mounted LSI, especially in challenging clinical settings with space limitations such as the intensive care unit.

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