Granulation tissue color is one indicator for pressure ulcer (PU) assessment. However, it entails a subjective evaluation only, and quantitative methods have not been established. We developed color indicators from digital image analysis and investigated their concurrent validity and reliability for clinical PUs. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 47 patients with 55 full-thickness PUs. After color calibration, a wound photograph was converted into three images representing red color: erythema index (EI), modified erythema index with additional color calibration (granulation red index [GRI]), and â*, which represents the artificially created red-green axis of L*a*b* color space. The mean intensity of the granulation tissue region and the percentage of pixels exceeding the optimal cutoff intensity (% intensity) were calculated. Mean GRI (ρ?=0.39, p=0.007)and â* (ρ?=0.55, p<0.001), as well as their % intensity indicators, showed positive correlations with a* measured by tristimulus colorimeter, but erythema index did not. They were correlated with hydroxyproline concentration in wound fluid, healthy granulation tissue area, and blood hemoglobin level. Intra- and interrater reliability of the indicator calculation using both GRI and had an intraclass correlation coefficient >0.9. GRI and â*, from digital image analysis can quantitatively evaluate granulation tissue color of clinical PUs.
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