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IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 1999 Jun;46(6):740-6.

In vivo high-frequency ultrasonic characterization of human dermis.

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  • 1INSERM U316, faculté de médecine, Tours, France. guittet@univ-tours.fr


The aim of this study is in vivo skin tissue characterization of young and old human cutaneous tissues by estimating the slope of the attenuation coefficient. The method used is the centroid algorithm with a second-order autoregressive model to perform the spectral analysis. Backscattered signals are acquired with a 40-MHz transducer fixed on a three-dimensional robot. Diffraction phenomena are eliminated via an axial translation of the transducer that allows the acquisition of the signal in the focal zone. The slope of the attenuation coefficient is estimated on phantoms of known attenuation, in order to validate the method. Preliminary measurements of the slope of the attenuation coefficient are subsequently performed in the echographic mode on abdominal human skin samples in vitro at 40 MHz. After assessing the reproducibility of the measurement of the attenuation coefficient slope in human dermis at 40-MHz in vivo, this is carried out on the volar face of the forearm of 150 healthy subjects aged 14-85 yr. The values measured range from 0.7 to 3.6 dB/cm.MHz. The main result of this study is the decrease with advancing age of the attenuation coefficient slope, which may reflect structural modifications of human dermis with age.

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