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Burn wound classification model using spatial frequency-domain imaging and machine learning.


Accurate assessment of burn severity is critical for wound care and the course of treatment. Delays in classification translate to delays in burn management, increasing the risk of scarring and infection. To this end, numerous imaging techniques have been used to examine tissue properties to infer burn severity. Spatial frequency-domain imaging (SFDI) has also been used to characterize burns based on the relationships between histologic observations and changes in tissue properties. Recently, machine learning has been used to classify burns by combining optical features from multispectral or hyperspectral imaging. Rather than employ models of light propagation to deduce tissue optical properties, we investigated the feasibility of using SFDI reflectance data at multiple spatial frequencies, with a support vector machine (SVM) classifier, to predict severity in a porcine model of graded burns. Calibrated reflectance images were collected using SFDI at eight wavelengths (471 to 851 nm) and five spatial frequencies (0 to 0.2  mm  -  1). Three models were built from subsets of this initial dataset. The first subset included data taken at all wavelengths with the planar (0  mm  -  1) spatial frequency, the second comprised data at all wavelengths and spatial frequencies, and the third used all collected data at values relative to unburned tissue. These data subsets were used to train and test cubic SVM models, and compared against burn status 28 days after injury. Model accuracy was established through leave-one-out cross-validation testing. The model based on images obtained at all wavelengths and spatial frequencies predicted burn severity at 24 h with 92.5% accuracy. The model composed of all values relative to unburned skin was 94.4% accurate. By comparison, the model that employed only planar illumination was 88.8% accurate. This investigation suggests that the combination of SFDI with machine learning has potential for accurately predicting burn severity.

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