Color Doppler Sonography of Merkel Cell Carcinoma

J Ultrasound Med. 2018 Jan;37(1):285-292. doi: 10.1002/jum.14329. Epub 2017 Jul 20.


We illustrate the color Doppler sonographic findings in primary cutaneous Merkel cell carcinoma. Eight cases (4 female and 4 male; mean age, 75.4 years) were collected. The most common affected regions were the face (63%) and the hip/buttock (25%). The mean transverse diameter and thickness were 21 and 14 mm, respectively. Fifty percent were oval, and 50% were dome shaped. All lesions were hypoechoic, with variable degrees of heterogeneity. All but 2 lesions were poorly defined. An acoustic reinforcement artifact was present in 3 and epidermal thickening in 2. All tumors had prominent and chaotic hypervascularity with arterial vessels (mean peak velocity, 11 cm/s; mean resistive index, 0.57).

Keywords: Merkel cell carcinoma; dermatologic ultrasound; neuroendocrine tumors; oncology; skin ultrasound; soft tissue masses; superficial structures.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Merkel Cell / diagnostic imaging*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Skin / diagnostic imaging
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color / methods*