State of the art in non-invasive imaging of cutaneous melanoma

Skin Res Technol. 2011 Aug;17(3):257-69. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0846.2011.00503.x. Epub 2011 Feb 22.


Background: This review focuses on looking at recent developments in the non-invasive imaging of skin, in particular at how such imaging may be used at present or in the future to detect cutaneous melanoma.

Methods: A MEDLINE search was performed for papers using imaging techniques to evaluate cutaneous melanoma, including melanoma metastasis.

Results: Nine different techniques were found: dermoscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy (including multiphoton microscopy), optical coherence tomography, high frequency ultrasound, positron emission tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and Fourier, Raman, and photoacoustic spectroscopies. This review contrasts the effectiveness of these techniques when seeking to image melanomas in skin.

Conclusions: Despite the variety of techniques available for detecting melanoma, there remains a critical need for a high-resolution technique to answer the question of whether tumours have invaded through the basement membrane.

Keywords: PET/CT; confocal microscopy; dermoscopy; melanoma; non‐invasive imaging; spectroscopy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dermoscopy / trends*
  • Diagnostic Imaging / trends*
  • Forecasting*
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / diagnosis*
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis*