Development and validation of an algorithm to predict the treatment modality of burn wounds using thermographic scans: Prospective cohort study.
PLoS One. 2018;13(11):e0206477
Authors: Martínez-Jiménez MA, Ramirez-GarciaLuna JL, Kolosovas-Machuca ES, Drager J, González FJ
BACKGROUND: The clinical evaluation of a burn wound alone may not be adequate to predict the severity of the injury nor to guide clinical decision making. Infrared thermography provides information about soft tissue viability and has previously been used to assess burn depth. The objective of this study was to determine if temperature differences in burns assessed by infrared thermography could be used predict the treatment modality of either healing by re-epithelization, requiring skin grafts, or requiring amputations, and to validate the clinical predication algorithm in an independent cohort.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: Temperature difference (ΔT) between injured and healthy skin were recorded within the first three days after injury in previously healthy burn patients. After discharge, the treatment modality was categorized as re-epithelization, skin graft or amputation. Potential confounding factors were assessed through multiple linear regression models, and a prediction algorithm based on the ΔT was developed using a predictive model using a recursive partitioning Random Forest machine learning algorithm. Finally, the prediction accuracy of the algorithm was compared in the development cohort and an independent validation cohort. Significant differences were found in the ΔT between treatment modality groups. The developed algorithm correctly predicts into which treatment category the patient will fall with 85.35% accuracy. Agreement between predicted and actual treatment for both cohorts was weighted kappa 90%.
CONCLUSION: Infrared thermograms obtained at first contact with a wounded patient can be used to accurately predict the definitive treatment modality for burn patients. This method can be used to rationalize treatment and streamline early wound closure.
PMID: 30427892 [PubMed – in process]