Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has been shown to provide non-invasive diagnosis of common skin neoplasms, especially basal cell carcinoma. OCT produces a cross-sectional view of the tissue, similar to a traditionally sectioned histopathological view, but the resolution of conventional OCT is low and thus limits clinical application.
This study aimed to investigate the application ability of a full-field (FF)OCT system which was newly developed to scan the skin at the cellular level.
Patients with skin tumours or inflammatory lesions warranting biopsy were consecutively enrolled. All lesions underwent clinical, dermoscopic, and OCT assessment, followed by routine biopsy. The adjacent normal skin was scanned for comparison. OCT images were interpreted (blinded to the biopsy results) and then compared with the histopathological diagnosis.
A total of 111 patients with 115 lesions completed the protocol, including 80 skin tumours, 28 inflammatory diseases, and 7 other diseases. Of the OCT images, 43.5% were of good quality and show expected features. Identifiable features of actinic keratosis, Bowen’s disease, basal cell carcinoma, extramammary Paget’s disease, seborrheic keratosis, large cell acanthoma, bullous pemphigoid, interface dermatitis, lichenoid tissue reaction, and psoriasis were demonstrated. Lesions are located deeply, and so some features were out of the field of view, accounting for 40.0% (46/115).
This study expanded the ability of FFOCT for the clinical diagnosis of various skin conditions. This new optical technique can clearly visualise skin lesions located in the epidermis and upper dermis. It provided an effective way to perform digital skin biopsy in superficial skin diseases.

© 2021 S. Karger AG, Basel.