Oxygenation in systemic sclerosis.

Microvascular dysfunction is important in the pathophysiology of systemic sclerosis (SSc). The spatial resolution of MSOT combined with the ability to spectrally unmix deoxygenated, oxygenated and total hemoglobin, allow investigators the ability to directly visualize and quantify structures directly involved in the etiology of the disease.

Particularly, MSOT shows disease-activity-dependent reductions in hemoglobin.

MSOT imaging of healthy volunteers and SSc patients

(A) Quantitative analysis of MSOT values for deoxygenated (HbR), oxygenated (HbO2) and total hemoglobin (HbT=HbR+HbO2). SSc patients show significantly reduced HbO2 and HbT compared to healthy volunteers (*p<0.05, **p<0.01, ***p<0.001).
(B) Analysis on an individual patient basis, ratio of mean of each patient to mean of all healthy volunteers is shown. All SSc patients show a distinct reduced ratio of HbO2 and HbT.
(C) Exemplary pseudocolor-coded MSOT images of HbR, HbO2 and HbT of a healthy volunteer (upper row), a SSc patient with a stable disease activity (middle row) and a SSc patient with a progressive disease activity (bottom row). Images show an obvious decline of hemoglobin especially in progressive SSc.
(D) Quantitative ROI analysis of MSOT of progressive SSc showed significantly lower values for HbR, HbO2 and HbT compared to healthy volunteers. Progressive SSc group had significantly lower HbR values than patients with stable SSc. Stable SSc group had significantly lower HbT than healthy volunteers. Nested ANOVA pre-test showed significant differences for HbR, HbO2 and HbT (s. results for further information). Significance level of post-hoc Tukey analysis are shown in the graph (*p<0.05, **p<0.01, ***p<0.001).


Mastoff M et al., Multispectral optoacoustic tomography of systemic sclerosis, J Biophotonics. 2018 Jul 4:e201800155. DOI: 10.1002/jbio.201800155.

  • Masthoff M et al.,
    Multispectral optoacoustic tomography of systemic sclerosis,
    J Biophotonics. 2018 Jul 4:e201800155. DOI: 10.1002/jbio.201800155.
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