Skimager for the objective erythema estimation in atopic dogs
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In this study, the severity of canine skin erythema was assessed objectively for the first time. Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common canine inflammatory and pruritic skin disease associated with an allergic reaction to exogenous allergens. The monitoring of skin erythema over time with lesion severity scales like the CADESI-4 is an essential diagnostic and research tool, especially for clinical trials. Currently, the erythema assessment is subjective due to visual estimation. In our study, we calculated the erythema index (EI) in 14 atopic dogs based on the analysis of multispectral skin images taken with the Skimager device. The relationship between the EI and a visual erythema estimation was modeled by linear regression with the first-order polynomial. The coefficient of determination (r squared) reached 0.81. Based on such high correlation, we conclude that optical measurements could replace the visual estimation of erythema in atopic dogs and, thus, improve the validity of skin lesion severity scales in dogs.