A comparison of the quality of image acquisition between two different sidestream dark field video-microscopes.
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Sidestream dark field (SDF) imaging enables direct visualisation of the microvasculature from which quantification of key variables is possible. The new MicroScan USB3 (MS-U) video-microscope is a hand-held SDF device that has undergone significant technical upgrades from its predecessor, the MicroScan Analogue (MS-A). The MS-U claims superior quality of sublingual microcirculatory image acquisition over the MS-A, however, this has yet to be robustly confirmed. In this manuscript, we therefore compare the quality of image acquisition between these two devices. The microcirculation of healthy volunteers was visualised to generate thirty video images for each device. Two independent raters, blinded to the device type, graded the quality of the images according to the six different traits in the Microcirculation Image Quality Score (MIQS) system. Chi-squared tests and Kappa statistics were used to compare not only the distribution of scores between the devices, but also agreement between raters. MS-U showed superior image quality over MS-A in three of out six MIQS traits; MS-U had significantly more optimal images by illumination (MS-U 95% optimal images, MS-A 70% optimal images (p-value 0.003)), by focus (MS-U 70% optimal images, MS-A 35% optimal images (p-value 0.002)) and by pressure (MS-U 72.5% optimal images, MS-A 47.5% optimal images (p-value 0.02)). For each trait, there was at least 85% agreement between the raters, and all the scores for each trait were independent of the rater (all p-values > 0.05). These results show that the new MS-U provides a superior quality of sublingual microcirculatory image acquisition when compared to old MS-A.
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