Optical coherence tomography (OCT) images of basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) have been acquired using a compact handheld probe with an integrated video camera allowing the OCT images to be correlated to a skin surface image. In general the healthy tissue of the skin has an obvious stratified structure, whereas the cancerous tissue shows a more homogenous structure. Thus it was demonstrated that it is possible to distinguish BCCs from healthy tissue by means of OCT. Furthermore different histological types of BCC were identified. Comparison of OCT images taken prior to and immediately after photodynamic therapy clearly shows the tissue response to the treatment, and indicates local oedema in the treated area.

© 2003 SPIE

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