Dual-Scan Photoacoustic Tomography for the Imaging of Vascular Structure on Foot

Author(s): Chuqin Huang, Yanda Cheng, Wenhan Zheng, Robert W Bing, Huijuan Zhang, Isabel Komornicki, Linda M Harris, Praveen R Arany, Saptarshi Chakraborty, Qifa Zhou, Wenyao Xu, Jun Xia


Chronic leg ulcers are affecting approximately 6.5 million Americans, and they are associated with significant mortality, reduced quality of life, and high treatment costs. Since many chronic ulcers have underlying vascular insufficiency, accurate assessment of tissue perfusion is critical to treatment planning and monitoring. This study introduces a dual-scan photoacoustic tomography system that can simultaneously image the dorsal and plantar sides of the foot to reduce imaging time. To account for the unique shape of the foot, the system employs height-adjustable and articulating base ball stages that can scan along the foot’s contour. In vivo results from healthy volunteers demonstrate the system’s ability to acquire clear images of foot vasculature, and results from patients indicate that the system can image patients with various ulcer conditions. We also investigated various photoacoustic features and examined their correlation with the foot condition. Our preliminary results indicate that vessel sharpness, occupancy, intensity, and density could all be used to assess tissue perfusion. This research demonstrated the potential of photoacoustic tomography for routine clinical tissue perfusion assessment.