Optical coherence tomography of basal cell carcinoma: influence of location, subtype, observer variability and image quality on diagnostic performance

J. Holmes, T. von Braunmühl, C. Berking, E. Sattler, M. Ulrich, U. Reinhold, H. Kurzen, T. Dirschka, C. Kellner, S. Schuh, J. Welzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: We previously described the principal results from an observational, prospective, multicentre, clinical trial of the diagnostic value of optical coherence tomography (OCT) for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) in a clinical setting. In this trial, much additional useful information was gathered that warranted further analysis, presented here. Objectives: To investigate the influence of candidate diagnostic criteria, OCT image quality, lesion location, and observer confidence and interobserver variability on the diagnostic performance of OCT, and to assess its potential use for diagnosis of BCC subtypes. Methods: A total of 234 clinically unclear ‘pink lesions’ were evaluated in three steps: after clinical examination, after adding dermoscopy and after adding OCT. In addition to the diagnoses (including lesion subtype), observers recorded which of 15 diagnostic criteria the OCT image contained, their confidence in the diagnoses, the OCT image quality and the anatomical location of the lesion. Results: Diagnostic performance of OCT did not depend on the lesion's anatomical location. Good OCT image quality was correlated with improved diagnostic performance, but diagnostic performance for lesions with mediocre image quality was still better than by clinical and dermoscopic examination. The main reason for reduced image quality was superficial scales and crusting. Observer confidence in diagnosis was correlated with diagnostic performance. Interobserver diagnostic performance was consistently higher than clinical examination and dermoscopy across all sites. BCC subtype could be determined with moderate accuracy, but further independent image markers are required. Conclusion: OCT is useful in the diagnosis of BCC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1102-1110
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Volume178
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes

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