Early detection and intervention of deep tissue injury are important to lead good outcome. Although the efficiency of ultrasonographic assessment of deep tissue injury has been reported previously, it requires a certain level of skill for accurate assessment. In this study, we present an investigation of the combination of thermographic and ultrasonographic assessments for early detection of deep tissue injury. We retrospectively reviewed 28 early-stage pressure ulcers (21 patients) presenting at the University of Tokyo Hospital between April 2009 and February 2010, surveying the associated thermographic and ultrasonographic findings. The wound temperature patterns were divided into low, even and high compared with the surrounding skin. Ultrasonographic findings were classified into unclear layer structure, hypoechoic lesion, discontinuous fascia and heterogeneous hypoechoic area. All 13 ulcers that were associated with low temperature showed good outcome; three ulcers had even temperatures and 12 ulcers showed high temperature on thermographic assessment. The two deep tissue injuries were rated high on thermographic assessment and showed heterogeneous hypoechoic area findings on ultrasonographic assessment. No non-deep tissue injury lesion was associated with these two findings simultaneously. The combination of thermographic and ultrasonographic assessments is expected to increase the accuracy of the early detection of deep tissue injuries.
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