Volume 47 Number 2, 2010
Pages 99 — 108
Abstract — This article focuses on the development of a method to quantitatively assess the healing process of artificially induced pressure sores using high-frequency (20 MHz) ultrasound images. We induced sores in guinea pigs and monitored predefined regions on days 3, 7, 14, and 21 after sore generation. We extracted relevant parameters regarding the tissue echographic structure and attenuation properties. We examined tissue healing by defining a healing function that used the extracted parameters. We verified the significance of the extracted features by using analysis of variance and multiple comparison tests. The features displayed ascending/descending behavior during wound generation and reverse behavior during healing. We optimized the parameters of our healing function by using a pattern search method. We tested the efficiency of the optimized values by calculating the healing function value on assessment days and then comparing these results with the expected pattern of changes in the tissue conditions after removing the applied pressure. The results of this study suggest that the methodology developed may be a viable tool for quantitative assessment of pressure sores during their early generation as well as during healing stages.
Key words: feature extraction, guinea pigs, healing function, high-frequency ultrasound, image processing, numerical analysis, pattern search method, pressure sores, sonographic assessment, wound healing.