Comparison of photoacoustic imaging and histopathological examination in determining the dimensions of 52 human melanomas and nevi ex vivo

Jenny, Hult, Aboma, Merdasa, Agnes, Pekar-Lukacs, Magne, Tordengren Stridh, Azin, Khodaverdi, John, Albinsson, Bodil, Gesslein, Ulf, Dahlstrand, Linn, Engqvist, Yousef, Hamid, Douglas, Larsson Albèr, Bertil, Persson, Tobias, Erlöv, Rafi, Sheikh, Magnus, Cinthio, Malin, Malmsjö

Biomedical Optics Express |

Surgical excision followed by histopathological examination is the gold standard for the diagnosis and staging of melanoma. Reoperations and unnecessary removal of healthy tissue could be reduced if non-invasive imaging techniques were available for presurgical tumor delineation. However, no technique has gained widespread clinical use to date due to shallow imaging depth or the absence of functional imaging capability. Photoacoustic (PA) imaging is a novel technology that combines the strengths of optical and ultrasound imaging to reveal the molecular composition of tissue at high resolution. Encouraging results have been obtained from previous animal and human studies on melanoma, but there is still a lack of clinical data. This is the largest study of its kind to date, including 52 melanomas and nevi. 3D multiwavelength PA scanning was performed ex vivo, using 59 excitation wavelengths from 680 nm to 970 nm. Spectral unmixing over this broad wavelength range, accounting for the absorption of several tissue chromophores, provided excellent contrast between healthy tissue and tumor. Combining the results of spectral analysis with spatially resolved information provided a map of the tumor borders in greater detail than previously reported. The tumor dimensions determined with PA imaging were strongly correlated with those determined by histopathological examination for both melanomas and nevi.