Attenuation fluctuations and local dermal reflectivity are indicators of immune cell infiltrate and epidermal hyperplasia in skin inflammation

Kevin G. Phillips, Yun Wang, Niloy Choudhury, David Levitz, Emily Swanzey, James Lagowski, Molly Kulesz-Martin, Steven Jacques

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Psoriasis is a common inflammatory skin disease resulting from genetic and environmental alterations of cutaneous immune responses responsible for skin homeostasis. While numerous therapeutic targets involved in the immunopathogenesis of psoriasis have been identified, the in vivo dynamics of psoriasis remains under investigated. To elucidate the spatial-temporal morphological evolution of psoriasis we undertook in vivo time course focus-tracked optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging to non-invasively document dermal alterations due to immune cell infiltration and epidermal hyperplasia in an Imiquimod (IMQ) induced model of psoriasis-like inflammation in DBA2/C57Bl6 hybrid mice. Quantitative appraisal of dermal architectural changes was achieved through a three parameter fit of OCT axial scans in the dermis of the form A(z) = ρ exp(-μz +ε(z)). Ensemble averaging of the fit parameters over 2000 axial scans per mouse in each treatment arm revealed that the local dermal reflectivity ρ, decreased significantly in response to 6 day IMQ treatment (p = 0.0001), as did the standard deviation of the attenuation fluctuation std((z)), (p = 0.04), in comparison to cream controls and day 1 treatments. No significant changes were observed in the average dermal attenuation rate, μ. Our results suggest these label-free OCT-based metrics can be deployed to investigate new therapeutic targets in animal models as well as aid in clinical staging of psoriasis in conjunction with the psoriasis area and severity index.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics VIII
StatePublished - May 14 2012
EventPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics VIII - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 21 2012Jan 24 2012

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherPhotonic Therapeutics and Diagnostics VIII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Image processing
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Psoriasis
  • Tissue optical properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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