Optical Coherence Tomography

Mette Mogensen, Lotte Themstrup, Christina Banzhaf, Sebastian Marschall, Peter E. Andersen, Gregor B. E. J. Jemec

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has developed rapidly since its first realisation in medicine and is currently an emerging technology in the diagnosis of skin disease. OCT is an interferometric technique that detects reflected and backscattered light from tissue and is often described as the optical analogue to ultrasound. The inherent safety of the technology allows for in vivo use of OCT in patients. The main strength of OCT is the depth resolution. In dermatology, most OCT research has turned on non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) and non-invasive monitoring of morphological changes in a number of skin diseases based on pattern recognition, and studies have found good agreement between OCT images and histopathological architecture. OCT has shown high accuracy in distinguishing lesions from normal skin, which is of great importance in identifying tumour borders or residual neoplastic tissue after therapy. The OCT images provide an advantageous combination of resolution and penetration depth, but specific studies of diagnostic sensitivity and specificity in dermatology are sparse. In order to improve OCT image quality and expand the potential of OCT, technical developments are necessary. It is suggested that the technology will be of particular interest to the routine follow-up of patients undergoing non-invasive therapy of malignant or premalignant keratinocyte tumours. It is speculated that the continued technological development can propel the method to a greater level of dermatological use.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSkin Cancer : A Practical Approach
Editors Alfonso Baldi, Paola Pasquali, Enrico P. Spugnini
Publication date2014
ISBN (Print)978-1-4614-7356-5
Publication statusPublished - 2014
SeriesCurrent Clinical Pathology

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