Comparison of laser speckle and laser Doppler perfusion imaging: Measurement in human skin and rabbit articular tissue

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Laser Doppler perfusion imaging (LDI) is currently used in a variety of clinical applications, however, LDI instruments produce images of low resolution and have long scan times. A new optical perfusion imager using a laser speckle measurement technique and its use for in vivo blood flow measurements are described. Measurements of human skin and surgically exposed rabbit tissue made using this instrument were compared with a commercial laser Doppler perfusion imaging instrument. Results from blood flow measurements showed that the laser speckle imager measured an 11–67% decrease in blood flow under arterial occlusion. Under similar conditions, the laser Doppler imager measured blood flow decreases of 21–63%. In comparison with LDI, it was observed that the higher temporal resolution of the laser speckle imager was more sensitive to measuring the hyperaemic response immediately following occlusion. This in vivo study demonstrated some of the several advantages laser speckle imaging has over conventional LDI, making the new instrument more versatile in a clinical environment.