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Case Rep Dermatol. 2013 Jun 1;5(2):156-62. doi: 10.1159/000352066. Print 2013 May.

In vivo Imaging of Sarcoptes scabiei Infestation Using Optical Coherence Tomography.

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Department of Dermatology, Roskilde Hospital, Roskilde, Denmark.



Sarcoptes scabiei can be visualized with different imaging tools. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) may have the potential to describe the changes in skin morphology due to scabies infestation and visualize the parasite.


Five patients from the Departments of Dermatology, Augsburg, Germany, and Roskilde, Denmark, were OCT scanned (VivoSight(®); Michelson Diagnostics Ltd., UK). Mites were identified by epiluminescence and light microscopy to confirm the diagnosis.


OCT identified S. scabiei mites in all patients in vivo. Mites and burrows were visualized, and some detail on burrow content was provided.


OCT can visualize S. scabiei mites in vivo, suggesting that it may be used to study the biology of the mites in vivo and provide early assessment of scabicide therapy. OCT is able to visualize structures in the skin with an 8-μm resolution. Therefore, this technology could potentially allow rapid, non-invasive, in vivo diagnosis and analysis of infestations.


In vivo imaging; Infestation; Optical coherence tomography; Sarcoptes scabiei

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