Diagnosis and Demarcation of Skin Malignancy Using Elastic Light Single-Scattering Spectroscopy: A Pilot Study

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Elastic light single-scattering spectroscopy (ELSSS) is a noninvasive and real-time technique that has been used to differentiate tumors from surrounding nontumor tissue in animal models and humans.


To investigate potential application of ELSSS as an adjunctive tool for noninvasive, in vivo, real-time differentiation of malignant and benign skin lesions and to detect positive surgical margins of excised biopsy samples.


In vivo spectroscopic measurements were performed on 28 lesions in 23 patients. The distribution of the lesions was as follows: nine basal cell carcinoma (BCC), four melanoma, two squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and 13 benign lesions. Intraoperative margin assessments were performed on the 28 biopsy samples using ELSSS.


The sign of the spectral slopes was positive for benign and negative for malignant tissues. It was used as a discrimination parameter between malignant and benign lesions with a sensitivity and specificity of 87% and 85%, respectively. Sensitivity and specificity of the system in detecting positive surgical margins on 14 excised biopsy samples were 80% and 90%, respectively.


has the potential for use as an adjunctive tool to reduce the number of negative biopsies and to detect positive surgical margins in real time.

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