New results have been published in Dermatology Online demonstrating that Michelson Diagnostics’ VivoSight OCT scanner can be used to image the blood vessel networks grown by skin cancers, and showing that skin lesions could be differentiated using their characteristic vascular patterns. This new technology may become a powerful tool in the dermatologists’s toolkit for the diagnosis of skin cancer and other conditions.
The paper, entitled “Speckle-variance optical coherence tomography: a novel approach to skin cancer characterization using vascular patterns” was by Dr Orit Markowitz and co-workers from SUNY Downstate Medical Center, New York Harbor Healthcare System, and Mount Sinai Hospital, all located in New York.
The results described include comparison of OCT images of vascular networks of examples of two pairs of malignant/benign skin lesions which can be difficult to differentiate in the clinic without a biopsy: a basal cell carcinoma vs. sebaceous hyperplasia, and a melanoma-in-situ vs. pigmented actinic keratosis. In each case, the authors report clear differences in the vascular patterns imaged by VivoSight OCT, and they comment “these observed patterns further elucidate the potential of this imaging device to become a powerful tool in patient disease assessment”. Larger studies are required to confirm these exciting new findings.
Dr Markowitz offers OCT imaging and laser treatment of skin cancers at Mount Sinai Hospital New York, citing key advantages of OCT “improved comfort, greater convenience and less scarring”.
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