Photoacoustic Imaging of Port-Wine Stains

Roy G.M. Kolkman, Miranda J. Mulder, Conrad P. Glade, Wiendelt Steenbergen, Ton G. van Leeuwen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Objective: To optimize laser therapy of port-wine stains (PWSs), information about the vasculature as well as lesion depth is valuable. In this study we investigated the use of photoacoustic imaging (PAI) to obtain this information.

Study Design/Materials and Methods: PAI uses pulsed light to generate ultrasound upon absorption of short light pulses by blood. In this study we used PAI to image vasculature in PWSs in three human volunteers. Two-dimensional imaging (scan direction vs. depth) was carried out by scanning a double-ring photoacoustic sensor over the tissue surface.

Results: In the photoacoustic images we observed an increased photoacoustic signal intensity at the locations of the PWS that is associated with increased vascularization. From the obtained images we measured the thickness of the vascular layer and estimated lesion depth. In some cases single vessels could be observed at the position of the PWS whereas in other cases the PWS appeared as a region with large photoacoustic signal intensity.

Conclusions: PAI has the potential to reveal information about the lesion depth as well as thickness of the vascular layer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-182
Number of pages5
JournalLasers in surgery and medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Laser-induced ultrasound
  • Blood vessels
  • Optoacoustic


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