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Spectrophotometric intracutaneous analysis: a new technique for imaging pigmented skin lesions


Marc Moncrieff. E-mail:


SummaryBackground  Spectrophotometric intracutaneous analysis (SIA) is a new technique for imaging pigmented skin lesions and for diagnosing melanoma. The SIAscope produces eight narrow-band spectrally filtered images of the skin over an area of 24 × 24 mm with radiation ranging from 400 to 1000 nm.

Objectives  To present the early results of a clinical trial with SIA.

Methods  Spectrophotometric inputs from the skin were analysed using complex algorithms to return high-resolution information regarding total melanin content of the epidermis and papillary dermis, collagen and haemoglobin content as well as the presence of melanin in the papillary dermis.

Results  Simple, highly reproducible and reliable features were identified, e.g. the presence of dermal melanin, collagen holes and ‘erythematous blush’ with blood displacement. These simple features were found to be highly specific (80·1%) and sensitive (82·7%) for melanoma in a dataset of 348 pigmented lesions (52 melanomas) and compared very favourably with dermatoscopy when analysed using receiver-operator characteristic curves.

Conclusions  This first clinical trial with SIAscopy has yielded very promising results and delivers new, useful information to the clinician diagnosing pigmented skin lesions.