Characterization of skin Port-Wine Stain and Hemangioma vascular lesions using Doppler OCT

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Port-Wine Stains (PWS) are vascular malformations of the dermis, whereas hemangiomas are vascular tumors usually present at birth. Early non-invasive diagnosis of the vascular lesion would greatly increase treatment efficiency. We propose to use optical coherence tomography (OCT), a morphological imaging technique, coupled with functional blood-flow Doppler modality.


We imaged lesions from five patients: one with PWS, four with hemangiomas, using a Thorlabs Swept-Source OCT system at 1325 nm. Additional Doppler images allow for distinguishing blood vessels from empty cavities that appear similar on conventional OCT images.


We are able to distinguish between normal skin and vascular lesions. The PWS lesion presents blood vessels of mean diameter 114 μm with a standard deviation of 92 μm, and mean depth 304 μm with a standard deviation of 99 μm. The hemangiomas present blood vessels of mean diameter 39 μm with a standard deviation of 19 μm, and mean depth 298 μm with a standard deviation of 133 μm.


We show a significant difference between the vascular characteristics of the studied PWS and hemangiomas lesions. We believe that OCT complemented by Doppler OCT could be a promising method for future non-invasive diagnosis and monitoring of some vascular lesions.

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