Title: Laser Doppler perfusion imaging for the study of alternative medicine

Authors: E.Y.K. Ng, S.C. Fok

Addresses: School of Mechanical and Production Engineering, College of Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, 639798, Singapore. ' Faculty of Engineering and Surveying, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350, Australia

Abstract: The laser Doppler perfusion imager (LDPI) is a recent development in the field of laser Doppler flowmetry. It has great potential in many medical applications for the non-invasive diagnosis of problems based on microvascular perfusion. Established applications include assessment of breast skin blood flow, wound healing, skin burn, and systemic sclerosis. This paper discusses the potential application of LDPI for the study of the effects of acupuncture. A case study is presented on the use of LDPI in the non-invasive assessment of microvascular perfusion across an acupuncture point on the hand. The result showed that the administration of acupuncture could increase the blood flux intensively. This implies that LDPI could be used to provide an objective and specific assessment of the stimulation level on acupuncture point. The application of LDPI for the possible study of acupuncture in relieving menstrual discomfort is further investigated. The result showed that there were distinct differences in the perfusion images flow on the forehead region before and during menstruation. The finding highlights the potential of LDPI to measure the effects of acupuncture. The paper uses the menstrual problems to further discuss the issues and considerations for the application of LPDI. This work constitutes initial efforts to the discovery of the evidence that would lead to the acceptance of acupuncture as a viable treatment modality by mainstream western medicine.

Keywords: laser Doppler imaging; alternative medicine; blood perfusion; acupuncture; menstrual discomfort; microvascular perfusion; LDPI; blood flux.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCAT.2004.005341

International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 2004 Vol.21 No.1/2, pp.65 - 71

Published online: 25 Sep 2004 *

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