Multivariate non-invasive measurements of skin disorders
Abstract: The present thesis proposes new methods for obtaining objective and accurate diagnoses in modern healthcare. Non-invasive techniques have been used to examine or diagnose three different medical conditions, namely neuropathy among diabetics, radiotherapy induced erythema (skin redness) among breast cancer patients and diagnoses of cutaneous malignant melanoma. The techniques used were Near-InfraRed spectroscopy (NIR), Multi Frequency Bio Impedance Analysis of whole body (MFBIA-body), Laser Doppler Imaging (LDI) and Digital Colour Photography (DCP).The neuropathy for diabetics was studied in papers I and II. The first study was performed on diabetics and control subjects of both genders. A separation was seen between males and females and therefore the data had to be divided in order to obtain good models. NIR spectroscopy was shown to be a viable technique for measuring neuropathy once the division according to gender was made. The second study on diabetics, where MFBIA-body was added to the analysis, was performed on males exclusively. Principal component analysis showed that healthy reference subjects tend to separate from diabetics. Also, diabetics with severe neuropathy separate from persons less affected.The preliminary study presented in paper III was performed on breast cancer patients in order to investigate if NIR, LDI and DCP were able to detect radiotherapy induced erythema. The promising results in the preliminary study motivated a new and larger study. This study, presented in papers IV and V, intended to investigate the measurement techniques further but also to examine the effect that two different skin lotions, Essex and Aloe vera have on the development of erythema. The Wilcoxon signed rank sum test showed that DCP and NIR could detect erythema, which is developed during one week of radiation treatment. LDI was able to detect erythema developed during two weeks of treatment. None of the techniques could detect any differences between the two lotions regarding the development of erythema.The use of NIR to diagnose cutaneous malignant melanoma is presented as unpublished results in this thesis. This study gave promising but inconclusive results. NIR could be of interest for future development of instrumentation for diagnosis of skin cancer.
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