Methods to assess area and volume of wounds: a systematic review

Line Bisgaard Jørgensen, Jens A Sørensen, Gregor Be Jemec, Knud B Yderstraede

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Wound measurement is important in monitoring the healing process of chronic wounds and in evaluating the effect of treatment. The objective of this systematic review was to evaluate evidence from the literature on accuracy, agreement, reliability and feasibility of wound measurement techniques described since 1994. Studies were identified by searching the electronic databases PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Library. Of the 12 013 studies identified, 43 were included in the review. A total of 30 papers evaluated techniques for measuring wound area and 13 evaluated techniques for measuring wound volume. The six approaches for measuring wound area were simple ruler method (10 papers), mathematical models (5 papers), manual planimetry (10 papers), digital planimetry (16 papers), stereophotogrammetry (2 papers) and digital imaging method (20 papers). Of these studies, 10 evaluated accuracy, 15 agreement, 17 reliability and 25 mentioned feasibility. The number of wounds examined in the studies was highly variable (n = 3-260). Studies evaluating techniques for measuring wound volume included between 1 and 50 wounds and evaluated accuracy (4 studies), agreement (6 studies), reliability (8 studies) and feasibility (12 studies). Digital planimetry and digital imaging were considered the most accurate and reliable methods for area measurement, particularly in larger and irregularly shaped wounds. None of the three-dimensional technologies have so far had a major impact, because of their low accuracy, high cost and complexity in handling the system set-up.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Wound Journal
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)540-553
Publication statusPublished - 1. Aug 2016


  • Measurement accuracy
  • Measurement techniques
  • Three-dimensional wound measurement
  • Wound area
  • Wound measurement


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