Preclosure spectroscopic differences between healed and dehisced traumatic wounds

Jason S. Radowsky*, Romon Neely, Jonathan A. Forsberg, Felipe A. Lisboa, Christopher J. Dente, Eric A. Elster, Nicole J. Crane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background The complexity and severity of traumatic wounds in military and civilian trauma demands improved wound assessment, before, during, and after treatment. Here, we explore the potential of 3 charge-coupled device (3CCD) imaging values to distinguish between traumatic wounds that heal following closure and those that fail. Previous studies demonstrate that normalized 3CCD imaging values exhibit a high correlation with oxygen saturation and allow for comparison of values between diverse clinical settings, including utilizing different equipment and lighting. Methods We screened 119 patients at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and at Grady Memorial Hospital with at least one traumatic extremity wound of 75 cm2. We collected images of each wound during each débridement surgery for a total of 66 patients. An inhouse written computer application selected a region of interest in the images, separated the pixel color values, calculated relative values, and normalized them. We followed patients until the enrolled wounds were surgically closed, quantifying the number of wounds that dehisced (defined as wound failure or infection requiring return to the operating room after closure) or healed. Results Wound failure occurred in 20% (19 of 96) of traumatic wounds. Normalized intensity values for patients with wounds that healed successfully were, on average, significantly different from values for patients with wounds that failed (p ≤ 0.05). Simple thresholding models and partial least squares discriminant analysis models performed poorly. However, a hierarchical cluster analysis model created with 17 variables including 3CCD data, wound surface area, and time from injury predicts wound failure with 76.9% sensitivity, 76.5% specificity, 76.6% accuracy, and a diagnostic odds ratio of 10.8 (95% confidence interval: 2.6± 45.9). Conclusions Imaging using 3CCD technology may provide a non-invasive and cost-effective method of aiding surgeons in deciding if wounds are ready for closure and could potentially decrease the number of required débridements and hospital days. The process may be automated to provide real-time feedback in the operating room and clinic. The low cost and small size of the cameras makes this technology attractive for austere and shipboard environments where space and weight are at a premium.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0204453
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Preclosure spectroscopic differences between healed and dehisced traumatic wounds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this