A multicentre pilot study investigating high-definition optical coherence tomography in the differentiation of cutaneous melanoma and melanocytic naevi


  • Conflict of interest

    • T. Maier has served as consultant/lecturer for Agfa Healthcare.
  • Funding sources

    • Agfa Healthcare.



High-definition optical coherence tomography scanners have recently been developed.


To assess the diagnostic performance of HD-OCT in the differentiation of benign melanocytic skin lesions (MSL) and cutaneous melanoma (CM).


Patients with MSL were assessed by HD-OCT. All diagnoses were histopathologically confirmed. One blinded observer evaluated both slice and en-face HD-OCT images and diagnosed MLS on the basis of an algorithm adopted from reflectance confocal microscopy, recent HD-OCT reports, and conventional OCT.


A total of 93 MSL were studied comprising 66 benign MSL and 27 CM. The sensitivity of HD-OCT was 74.1% [95% confidence interval (CI) 53.7–88.8%)], specificity was 92.4% (95% CI 83.2–97.5%). The positive predictive value was 80%, the negative predictive value 89.7%. The performance of HD-OCT depended on tumour thickness and the presence of borderline lesions indicated by high false negative rates in very thin melanomas and high false positive rates in dysplastic naevi.


In the distinction of MSL, HD-OCT applied in an investigator blinded fashion has a moderate diagnostic performance. The diagnostic performance of HD-OCT of MSL should be reassessed in other clinical settings.