The role of dynamic infrared imaging in melanoma diagnosis

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Melanoma incidence and the lifetime risk are increasing at an alarming rate in the USA and worldwide. In order to improve survival rates, the goal is to detect melanoma at an early stage. Accurate, sensitive and reliable quantitative diagnostic tools can reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies, the associated morbidity and the costs of care, in addition to improving survival rates. The recently introduced quantitative dynamic infrared imaging system, ‘Quantification Analysis of Induced Thermography’ measures differences in the infrared emission between healthy tissue and a lesion during the thermal recovery process after removal of a cooling stress. Results from a clinical study suggest that the temperature of cancerous lesions is higher during the first 45–60 s of thermal recovery than the temperature of benign pigmented lesions. This small temperature difference can be measured by modern infrared cameras and serve as an indicator for melanoma in modern quantitative melanoma detectors.

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