OBJECTIVE: Microcirculatory visualization has already been used to investigate buccal and cutaneous microcirculatory alterations in neonates. Still, the reproducibility of these microvascular measurements has never been studied in (premature) neonates. This study aimed to determine the reproducibility of microvascular vessel density in cutaneous and buccal SDF clips in one-day-old term newborns.
METHODS: Buccal and cutaneous microcirculations were measured using SDF imaging. Vessel density was independently assessed by two investigators. Reproducibility was assessed from the ICC and Bland-Altman analysis.
RESULTS: Reproducibility of vessel density assessment in the buccal area was good, with ICCs for total and PVD of 0.93 (0.88-0.97) and 0.93 (95% CI 0.85-0.97), respectively, and a near zero bias and acceptable limits of agreement in the Bland-Altman analysis. Reproducibility of assessment of the cutaneous microcirculation was poor with ICCs for total and PVD of 0.31 (0-0.70) and 0.37 (0-0.74), respectively, and large biases (3.09 and 2.53) in the Bland-Altman analysis.
CONCLUSIONS: Evaluation of buccal microvascular vessel density in SDF-derived images in term newborns is reproducible in contrary to the cutaneous vessel density.