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Blood flow quantification of biopsied skin lesions using a laser speckle imaging dermatoscope (Conference Presentation)


Dermatoscopes are commonly utilized by medical professionals for the qualitative visual inspection of skin lesions. While automated image processing techniques and varied illumination strategies can aid in structural analysis of lesions, robust quantification of functional information is largely unknown. To address this knowledge gap, we have developed a compact, handheld dermatoscope that enables real-time blood flow measurements of skin using coherent illumination and laser speckle imaging (LSI). A second color camera attached to the dermatoscope helps with the simultaneous real-time observation of the skin lesions and allows the user to acquire and save color images via a custom Graphical User Interface. In-vitro characterization utilizing a blood flow phantom demonstrated that the dermatoscope is capable of quantifying changes in blood flow across a physiologically relevant range even when used in a handheld manner with ambient lighting. We also demonstrated that the dermatoscope can quantify blood flow in skin lesions in human subjects and that significant differences in blood flow are present among lesion types. There was significantly increased blood flow relative to the surrounding skin in cherry angiomas compared to solar lentigos (p<0.05), which was expected based on the vascular and pigment compositions of the two lesion types. Furthermore, we have compared blood flow maps collected from potentially cancerous lesions prior to histological analysis to determine whether blood flow measurements can help in the diagnosis of benign and malignant skin lesions. Information provided by the LSI dermatoscope may help with earlier and more accurate diagnoses of pigmented skin lesions.

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