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Optical Coherence Tomography Used as a Modality to Delineate Basal Cell Carcinoma prior to Mohs Micrographic Surgery

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      Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has potential as a modality for in vivo imaging of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). By allowing identification of sub-surface margins of NMSC lesions, the use of OCT could improve the rate of complete excision and reduce the average number of stages during Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS). The objective of this study was to use OCT to delineate the apparent sub-surface margins of NMSC lesions prior to their excision by MMS. Lesions were scanned with reference to a physical marker on the skin, and the apparent margins were then identified from the OCT images and marked on the skin. Photographs of these margins and the Mohs defect were correlated and compared. OCT appears capable of visualizing the transition from lesional to normal tissue. In this case study, margins marked by use of the OCT system before surgery exhibit excellent correlation with the MMS defect. OCT offers the promise of better outcomes by enabling accurate margin mapping of NMSC in advance of MMS. Priorities now are to demonstrate this capability in a larger study, and to understand clearly indications and contraindications for use.

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      Most cited references 16

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      Optical coherence tomography: a review of clinical development from bench to bedside.

      Since its introduction, optical coherence tomography (OCT) technology has advanced from the laboratory bench to the clinic and back again. Arising from the fields of low coherence interferometry and optical time- and frequency-domain reflectometry, OCT was initially demonstrated for retinal imaging and followed a unique path to commercialization for clinical use. Concurrently, significant technological advances were brought about from within the research community, including improved laser sources, beam delivery instruments, and detection schemes. While many of these technologies improved retinal imaging, they also allowed for the application of OCT to many new clinical areas. As a result, OCT has been clinically demonstrated in a diverse set of medical and surgical specialties, including gastroenterology, dermatology, cardiology, and oncology, among others. The lessons learned in the clinic are currently spurring a new set of advances in the laboratory that will again expand the clinical use of OCT by adding molecular sensitivity, improving image quality, and increasing acquisition speeds. This continuous cycle of laboratory development and clinical application has allowed the OCT technology to grow at a rapid rate and represents a unique model for the translation of biomedical optics to the patient bedside. This work presents a brief history of OCT development, reviews current clinical applications, discusses some clinical translation challenges, and reviews laboratory developments poised for future clinical application.
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        OCT imaging of skin cancer and other dermatological diseases.

        Optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides clinicians and researchers with micrometer-resolution, in vivo, cross-sectional images of human skin up to several millimeter depth. This review of OCT imaging applied within dermatology covers the application of OCT to normal skin, and reports on a large number of applications in the fields of non-melanoma skin cancer, malignant melanomas, psoriasis and dermatitis, infestations, bullous skin diseases, tattoos, nails, haemangiomas, and other skin diseases.
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          In vivo optical coherence tomography of basal cell carcinoma.

          Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a promising non-invasive imaging technique that has not systematically been studied in skin cancer such as basal cell carcinoma (BCC). We aimed, first, to describe the in vivo histologic features of BCC by using OCT, and second, to find out whether it is possible to differentiate BCC subtypes by means of OCT. Prior to the excision, the BCCs (n=43) as well as adjacent non-lesional skin sites were assessed by OCT in vivo. The lesional area of interest was marked prior to OCT and tattooed after excision, respectively, in order to enable topographical concordance between the cross-sectional OCT images and the histologic sections. Compared to non-lesional skin, a loss of normal skin architecture and disarrangement of the epidermis and upper dermis was observed in the OCT images of BCCs. Features that were frequently identified by OCT and correlated with histology included large plug-like signal-intense structures, honeycomb-like signal-free structures, and prominent signal free cavities in the upper dermis. With regard to the aforementioned OCT features, no statistically significant (P<0.05) difference was found between nodular, multifocal superficial, and infiltrative BCCs, respectively. OCT is capable to visualize altered skin architecture and histopathological correlates of BCC. However, there is not at this time sufficient data supporting the clinical use of OCT for the differentiation of BCC subtypes.

            Author and article information

            aLong Island Skin Cancer, Smithtown, N.Y.
            bDepartment of Dermatology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pa.
            cDepartment of Dermatology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, N.Y., USA
            dMichelson Diagnostics Ltd., Orpington, UK
            Author notes
            *Daniel M. Siegel, MD, MS, 994 Jericho Turnpike, Smithtown, NY 11787 (USA), Tel. +1 631 864 6647, E-Mail cyberdoc@
            Case Rep Dermatol
            Case Reports in Dermatology
            S. Karger AG (Allschwilerstrasse 10, P.O. Box · Postfach · Case postale, CH–4009, Basel, Switzerland · Schweiz · Suisse, Phone: +41 61 306 11 11, Fax: +41 61 306 12 34, )
            Sep-Dec 2011
            30 September 2011
            30 September 2011
            : 3
            : 3
            : 212-218
            Copyright © 2011 by S. Karger AG, Basel

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No-Derivative-Works License ( Users may download, print and share this work on the Internet for noncommercial purposes only, provided the original work is properly cited, and a link to the original work on and the terms of this license are included in any shared versions.

            Figures: 2, References: 13, Pages: 7
            Published: September 2011


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