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01.12.2015 | Review | Ausgabe 1/2016 Open Access

Critical Care 1/2016

A guide to human in vivo microcirculatory flow image analysis

Critical Care > Ausgabe 1/2016
Michael J. Massey, Nathan I. Shapiro
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s13054-016-1213-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

No nonfinancial conflicts of interest exist for any of the authors. NIS and MJM have previously received equipment support from Microvision Medical B.V.

Authors’ contributions

NIS and MJM participated in manuscript conception and drafting, and both authors accept responsibility for the content. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.


Various noninvasive microscopic camera technologies have been used to visualize the sublingual microcirculation in patients. We describe a comprehensive approach to bedside in vivo sublingual microcirculation video image capture and analysis techniques in the human clinical setting. We present a user perspective and guide suitable for clinical researchers and developers interested in the capture and analysis of sublingual microcirculatory flow videos. We review basic differences in the cameras, optics, light sources, operation, and digital image capture. We describe common techniques for image acquisition and discuss aspects of video data management, including data transfer, metadata, and database design and utilization to facilitate the image analysis pipeline. We outline image analysis techniques and reporting including video preprocessing and image quality evaluation. Finally, we propose a framework for future directions in the field of microcirculatory flow videomicroscopy acquisition and analysis. Although automated scoring systems have not been sufficiently robust for widespread clinical or research use to date, we discuss promising innovations that are driving new development.
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