Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is a parasitic disease that produces chronic skin ulcers. Although it has a worldwide presence, it is a neglected disease that still requires novel tools for its management. In order to study the use of optical tools in CL, this article presents a preliminary study of the correlation between CL histopathological and optical parameters. Optical parameters correspond to absorption and scattering coefficients obtained from diffuse reflectance spectra of treated CL in golden hamsters. Independently, histopathological data were collected from the same hamsters. As a result, after Spearman correlation and the Kruskal–Wallis test, inverse correlation was found between absorption/scattering optical parameters and inflammatory histopathological values, such as the scattering parameter related to the diameter of fibroblasts with the histopathological parameters of fibrosis, polymorphonuclear neutrophils, lymphocytes, plasmocytes, hyperplasia, and Leishmania, and the absorption parameter oxygen saturation showed a relation with the granulation tissue histopathological parameter. These correlations agree with the expected behavior of tissue composition during the healing process in CL. The results correspond to a proof of concept that shows that optical diffuse reflectance-based tools and methods could be considered as an alternative to assist in CL diagnosis and treatment follow-up.
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© Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening 2021.