Adequate assessment of burn wounds is crucial in the management of burn patients. Thermography, as a noninvasive measurement tool, can be utilized to detect the remaining perfusion over large burn wound areas by measuring temperature, thereby reflecting the healing potential (HP) (i.e., number of days that burns require to heal). The objective of this study was to evaluate the clinimetric properties (i.e., reliability and validity) of thermography for measuring burn wound HP. To evaluate reliability, two independent observers performed a thermography measurement of 50 burns. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), the standard error of measurement (SEM), and the limits of agreement (LoA) were calculated. To assess validity, temperature differences between burned and nonburned skin (ΔT) were compared to the HP found by laser Doppler imaging (serving as the reference standard). By applying a visual method, one ΔT cutoff point was identified to differentiate between burns requiring conservative versus surgical treatment. The ICC was 0.99, expressing an excellent correlation between two measurements. The SEM was calculated at 0.22°C, the LoA at-0.58°C and 0.64°C. The ΔT cutoff point was-0.07°C (sensitivity 80%; specificity 80%). These results show that thermography is a reliable and valid technique in the assessment of burn wound HP.
- burn wound healing potential
- laser Doppler imaging