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Pre-operative assessment of basal cell carcinoma dimensions using high frequency ultrasonography and its correlation with histopathology



Bardia Sadr, MD

Center for Research & Training in Skin Diseases & Leprosy

Tehran University of Medical Sciences

415 Taleghani Avenue

Tehran 14166


Tel: (9821) 88978190Fax: (9821) 88978190




High frequency ultrasonography (HFUS) is a non-invasive, low risk method which can provide real-time visual information regarding different processes in cutaneous tissue. The goal of this study is to compare the accuracy of HFUS in determining depth and width of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) lesions compared with histopathology as a reference standard.


The depth and width of 56 primary BCCs in various locations were measured in vivo using the ultrasound system device Digital Taberna Promedica (Luneburg, FRG DUB 20 Ultrasound Scanner), with a 50-MHz hand-held transducer and compared with the depth and width reported in histopathologic examination of these lesions after complete excision. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was calculated using a one-way ANOVA table to compare measured dimensions for the same tumors with the two diagnostic methods.


The mean depth of tumor in HFUS (1353.68 ± 656.456 microns) was lower than the amount measured by the dermatopathologist (1560.71 ± 1044.323 microns). However, the difference was not statistically significant (P > 0.05). The means of largest diameter of tumors in HFUS and pathology were 5996.77 ± 2271.783 and 3891.07 ± 1995.452 microns, respectively (P < 0.001). There was a low correlation in diameter (r = 0.27, P < 0.05) and a moderate correlation in depth (r = 0.45, P < 0.001) of BCCs between these two methods.


HFUS may be a useful method to assess the dimensions of BCC prior to surgery.

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