Background  High-frequency ultrasound is non-invasive imaging method for examination of skin tumours.

Objective  The aim of our study was to examine validity of 20-MHz ultrasound in preoperative determination of skin tumour thickness localized on head and neck region as a potentially useful tool for planning of the surgical intervention.

Methods  Seventy-three different skin tumours were preoperatively examined using Dermascan C (Cortex Technology, Denmark) 20-MHz ultrasound equipment. Maximal vertical thickness of tumours was preoperatively determined by ultrasound, and after surgical excision of tumours, on pathohistological preparations using Nippon–Kogaku ocular micrometre. All patohistological specimens were controlled for presence of tumour cells on specimens’ margins.

Results  Obtained correlation was very high, r = 0.82, without significant statistical difference (< 0.01) between dimensions determined by 20-MHz ultrasound and histometry. There were no pathohistological specimens with tumours cells found on margins.

Conclusion  Examination of skin tumours by 20-MHz ultrasound gives reliable additional information about tumour dimensions, sometimes important for therapeutic strategy.