OBJECTIVE: Skin fibrosis places an enormous burden on patients and society, but disagreement exists over methods to quantify severity of skin scarring. A suction cutometer measures skin elasticity in-vivo, but it has not been widely adopted due to inconsistency in data produced. We investigated variability of several dimensionless parameters generated by the cutometer to improve their precision and accuracy.APPROACH: Twenty adult human subjects underwent suction cutometer measurement of normal skin and fibrotic scars. Using Mode 1, each subject underwent 5 trials with each trial containing 4 curves. R0/2/5/6/7 and Q1/2/3 data were collected. Analyses were performed on these calculated parameters.RESULTS: R0/2/5/6/7 and Q1/2 parameters from curves 1-4 demonstrated significant differences, while these same parameters were not significantly different when only using curves 2-4. Individual analysis of all parameters between curve 1 and every subsequent curve was statistically significant for R0, R2, R5, R6, R7, Q1, and Q2. No differences were appreciated for parameter Q3. Comparison between normal skin and fibrotic scars were significantly different for parameters R5, Q1, and Q3.INNOVATION: Our study is the first demonstration of accurate comparison between normal skin and fibrotic scars using the dimensionless parameters of a suction cutometer.CONCLUSION: Measured parameters from the first curve of each trial were significantly different from subsequent curves for both normal skin and fibrotic scars. Precision and reproducibility of data from dimensionless parameters can therefore be improved by removing the first curve. R5, Q1, and Q3 parameters differentiated normal skin as more elastic than fibrotic scars.
View details for DOI 10.1089/wound.2021.0082
View details for PubMedID 34470542