Skin surface roughness is an important property for differentiating skin diseases. Recently, roughness has also been identified as a potential diagnostic indicator in the early detection of skin cancer. Objective quantification is usually carried out by creating silicone replicas of the skin and then measuring the replicas. We have developed an alternative in-vivo technique to measure skin roughness based on laser speckle. Laser speckle is the interference pattern produced when coherent light is used to illuminate a rough surface and the backscattered light is imaged. Acquiring speckle contrast measurements from skin phantoms with controllable roughness, we created a calibration curve by linearly interpolating between measured points. This calibration curve accounts for internal scattering and is designed to evaluate skin microrelief whose root-mean-square roughness is in the range of 10-60 micrometers. To validate the effectiveness of our technique, we conducted a study to measure 243 skin lesions including actinic keratosis (8), basal cell carcinoma (24), malignant melanoma (31), nevus (73), squamous cell carcinoma (19), and seborrheic keratosis (79). The average roughness values ranged from 26 to 57 micrometers. Malignant melanoma was ranked as the smoothest and squamous cell carcinoma as the roughest lesion. An ANOVA test confirmed that malignant melanoma has significantly smaller roughness than other lesion types. Our results suggest that skin microrelief can be used to detect malignant melanoma from other skin conditions.
Lioudmila Tchvialeva, Jamie Phillips, Haishan Zeng, David McLean, Harvey Lui, and Tim K. Lee, "Skin microrelief as a diagnostic tool (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10037, Photonics in Dermatology and Plastic Surgery, 1003706 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 28, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2249800.5369935389001.
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