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J Am Acad Dermatol. 1997 Dec;37(6):958-63.

Optical coherence tomography of the human skin.

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1
Department of Dermatology, Medical University of L├╝beck, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a new diagnostic method for tissue characterization.

OBJECTIVE:

We investigated normal and pathologic structures in human skin in several locations to evaluate the potential application of this technique to dermatology.

METHODS:

Based on the principle of low-coherence interferometry, cross-sectional images of the human skin can be obtained in vivo with a high spatial resolution of about 15 microns. Within a penetration depth of 0.5 to 1.5 mm, structures of the stratum corneum, the living epidermis, and the papillary dermis can be distinguished.

RESULTS:

Different layers could be detected that were differentiated by induction of experimental blisters and by comparison with corresponding histologic sections. Furthermore, OCT images of several skin diseases and tumors were obtained.

CONCLUSION:

OCT is a promising new imaging method for visualization of morphologic changes of superficial layers of the human skin. It may be useful for noninvasive diagnosis of bullous skin diseases, skin tumors, and in vivo investigation of pharmacologic effects.

PMID:
9418764
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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