Abstract

Because of low optical contrast in the visible spectral range, accurate detection of basal cell carcinomas (BCC) remains a challenging problem. In this letter, we experimentally demonstrate that reflectance confocal imaging in the vicinity of 1300 nm can be used for the detection of BCC without exogenous contrast agents. We present high-contrast reflectance confocal images of thick fresh skin tissues with clearly delineated cancer and discuss possible reasons for causing decreased scattering of BCC. Comparison with histopathology confirms that tumors scatter less and exhibit lower pixel values in the images, as compared to benign skin structures. The results demonstrate the feasibility of real-time noninvasive detection of BCC using intrinsic differences in scattering between tumors and normal skin.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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