, Volume 303, Issue 2, pp 79-87
Date: 04 Jun 2010

Tissue viability imaging (TiVi) in the assessment of divergent beam UV-B provocation

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In routine clinical phototesting and in basic research, naked eye dermatological assessment is the “gold standard” for determining the patient’s minimal erythemal dose (MED). In UV-B testing with a divergent, radially attenuating beam of characterised dosimetry, laser Doppler perfusion imaging has been previously used to give quantitative description of reactivity to doses above the MED in addition to a “single-dose” objective determination of the MED itself. In the present paper, the recently developed tissue viability imaging (TiVi) technology is presented for the first time as a reliable, easily applicable, high-resolution alternative to LDPI in the divergent beam testing concept. Data obtained after provocation with a range of doses was analysed in order to determine the reaction diameter, which can be related to the MED using field dosimetry. The dose–response features of exposure above the MED and the relationship between naked eye readings and the diameter were determined from the image data. TiVi data were obtained faster than LDPI data and at a higher spatial resolution of 100 μm instead of 1 mm. A tool was developed to centre over the erythema area of the acquired image. Response data could be plotted continuously against dose. Thresholding of processed images compared to naked eye “gold standard” readings showed that the normal skin value +4 standard deviations produced a good fit between both methods. A linear fitting method for the dose–response data provided a further method of determination of the reaction diameter (MED). Erythemal “volume under the surface (VUS)” for the reaction provided a new concept for visualising information. TiVi offers advantages over LDPI in the acquisition and analysis of data collected during divergent beam testing. An increased amount of data compared to traditional phototesting is easily and more objectively obtained which increases applicability in the clinical and research environment.