Using optical coherence tomography to evaluate skin sun damage and precancer

Vrushali R. Korde, Garret T. Bonnema, Wei Xu, Chetankumar Krishnamurthy, James Ranger-Moore, Kathylynn Saboda, Lisa D. Slayton, Stuart J. Salasche, James A. Warneke, David S. Alberts, Jennifer K. Barton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a depth resolved imaging modality that may aid in identifying sun damaged skin and the precancerous condition actinic keratosis (AK). Study Design/Materials and Methods: OCT images were acquired of 112 patients at 2 sun protected and 2 sun exposed sites, with a subsequent biopsy. Each site received a dermatological evaluation, a histological diagnosis, and a solar elastosis (SE) score. OCT images were examined visually and statistically analyzed. Results: Characteristic OCT image features were identified of sun protected, undiseased, sun damaged, and AK skin. A statistically significant difference (P < 0.0001) between the average attenuation values of skin with minimal and severe solar elastosis was observed. Significant differences (P < 0.0001) were also found between undiseased skin and AK using a gradient analysis. Using image features, AK could be distinguished from undiseased skin with 86% sensitivity and 83% specificity. Conclusion: OCT has the potential to guide biopsies and provide non-invasive measures of skin sun damage and disease state, possibly increasing efficiency of chemopreventive agent trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)687-695
Number of pages9
JournalLasers in Surgery and Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • Actinic keratosis
  • Image processing
  • Imaging
  • Skin cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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