Preliminary Clinical Experience with a Novel Optical-Ultrasound Imaging Device on Various Skin Lesions

Diagnostics (Basel). 2022 Jan 15;12(1):204. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics12010204.


A compact handheld skin ultrasound imaging device has been developed that uses co-registered optical and ultrasound imaging to provide diagnostic information about the full skin depth. The aim of the current work is to present the preliminary clinical results of this device. Using additional photographic, dermoscopic and ultrasonic images as reference, the images from the device were assessed in terms of the detectability of the main skin layer boundaries and characteristic image features. Combined optical-ultrasonic recordings of various types of skin lesions (melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, seborrheic keratosis, dermatofibroma, naevus, dermatitis and psoriasis) were taken with the device (N = 53) and compared with images captured with a reference portable skin ultrasound imager. The investigator and two additional independent experts performed the evaluation. The detectability of skin structures was over 90% for the epidermis, the dermis and the lesions. The morphological and echogenicity information observed for the different skin lesions were found consistent with those of the reference ultrasound device and relevant ultrasound images in the literature. The presented device was able to obtain simultaneous in-vivo optical and ultrasound images of various skin lesions. This has the potential for further investigations, including the preoperative planning of skin cancer treatment.

Keywords: basal cell carcinoma; chronic skin inflammation; dermatofibroma; dermatology; melanoma; naevus; portable ultrasound; seborrheic keratosis; skin cancer; skin ultrasound.