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Laser Doppler imaging (LDI) has become a standard method for optical measurement of tissue perfusion, but is limited by low resolution and long measurement times. We have developed an analysis technique based on a laser speckle imaging method that generates rapid, high-resolution perfusion images. We have called it laser speckle perfusion imaging (LSPI). This paper investigates LSPI output and compares it to LDI using blood flow models designed to simulate human skin at various levels of pigmentation. Results show that LSPI parameters can be chosen such that the instrumentation exhibits a similar response to changes in red blood cell concentration (0.1%-5%, 200 μL/min) and velocity (0-800 μL/min, 1% concentration) and, given its higher resolution and quicker response time, could provide a significant advantage over LDI for some applications. Differences were observed in the LDI and LSPI response to tissue optical properties. LDI perfusion values increased with increasing tissue absorption, while LSPI perfusion values showed a slight decrease. This dependence is predictable, owing to the perfusion algorithms specific to each instrument, and, if properly compensated for, should not influence each instrument's ability to measure relative changes in tissue perfusion.