Laser Doppler velocimetry in the measurement of neurovascular function

R. A. Westerman, R. E. Widdop, J. Hannaford, A. Low, R. G.D. Roberts, P. Kent, K. Sideris, T. Yip, J. R.S. Hales, F. R.N. Stephens

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Since the first use of laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) 16 years ago to measure tissue blood flow there has been no general acceptance of its clinical usefulness. The previous difficulty of measuring cutaneous blood flow made the introduction of the laser Doppler flowmeter (LDF) 8 years ago seem ideal because of its simplicity to use, and its provision of a continuous non-invasive quantitative measurement of changes in local microcirculatory activity. The present paper discusses some limitations of the technique and caveats about its use before emphasizing its greatest area of usefulness for the sensitive measurement of relative changes in blood flow under dynamic conditions. The sources and extent of variability in neurovascular responses to transcutaneous electrical and iontophoretically applied stimuli are defined in order for these to be minimized. Examples of clinical and experimental studies, with particular reference to diabetes mellitus, illustrate the use of LDF for dynamic changes in skin and muscle microvascular blood flow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-66
Number of pages14
JournalAustralasian Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 1988

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