Determination of thermal and physical properties of port wine stain lesions using pulsed photothermal radiometry

J. S. Nelson, S. L. Jacques, W. H. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


A method for quantitative characterization of port wine slain (PWS) is presented. Pulsed photothermal radiometry (PPTR) uses a non-invasive infrared radiometry system to measure changes in surface temperature induced by pulsed radiation. When a pulsed laser is used to irradiate a PWS, an initial temperature jump (T-jump) is seen due to the heating of the epidermis as a result of melanin absorption. Subsequently, heat generated in the subsurface blood vessels due to hemoglobin absorption is detected by PPTR as a delayed thermal wave as the heat diffuses toward the skin surface. The time delay and magnitude of the delayed PPTR signal indicate the depth and thickness of the PWS. In this report, we present an initial clinical study of PPTR measurements on PWS patients. Computer simulations of various classes of PWS illustrate how the PPTR signal depends on the concentration of epidermal melanin, and depth and thickness of the PWS. The goal of this research is to provide a means of characterizing PWS before initialing therapy, guiding laser dosimetry, and advising the palient as to the time course and efficacy of the planned protocol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-298
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Jun 1 1992
Externally publishedYes
EventLaser Surgery: Advanced Characterization, Therapeutics, and Systems III 1992 - Los Angeles, United States
Duration: Jan 19 1992Jan 24 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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