The Influence of Illumination Color on the Subjective Visual Recognition of Biological Specimens


[Background] Visual examination by the naked eye is integral to medical diagnosis and surgery. The illumination in conditioned color is widely used for visual inspection in the industry but has not been introduced to the biomedical context. The color that can enhance the visual recognition of individual tissues is still unknown. Therefore, we carried out a visual recognition experiment on biological specimens to determine the subjective preference for illumination color based on questionnaires. [Methods] Twenty healthy subjects were asked to compare the visual recognizability of several rat tissues between the illuminations in test colors and white. The rats were anesthetized, and the femoral vein and abdominal cavity were exposed. Seven tissues were selected for a visual recognition test. Illumination was generated using a multi-color LED light. The subjects observed the tissues under the illuminations of white and one of the test colors alternately and reported which illumination is suitable for visual recognition using a questionnaire. [Results] The analysis of the questionnaires showed that the blue test color was more effective than white illumination in the visual recognition of fine structures such as the branching of blood vessels and nerves, and red illumination disturbed the visual recognizability of the same tissues. On the other hand, the red but not the blue illumination improved the visual recognizability of the vein beneath the intact skin. As to the recognition of individual tissues in the abdominal cavity, the white illumination gave a better visual recognizability compared to every other test color. [Conclusion] This study shows that the illumination color influences the visual recognition of biological specimens and the adequate color for the visual recognition of specific tissue parts is distinct among biological specimens. Using the lighting system to make fine adjustments to the illumination color may be useful in medical diagnosis and surgery

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