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Ultra high-frequency ultrasound: New capabilities for nail anatomy exploration

Daniela Berritto, Francesca Iacobellis, Claudia Rossi, Alfonso Reginelli, Salvatore Cappabianca, Roberto Grassi
The Journal of Dermatology2016
Recent development of ultra high-resolution ultrasound systems, with frequencies as high as 70 MHz and capabil- ity resolution as fine as 30 lm, could permit new diagnostic applications to small parts. A variety of superficial targets within the first 1 cm of the skin surface could be imaged, including dermatological applications such as assessment of skin layers, hair follicles and the nail unit. Nail disorders are frequent but they are diagnosed mainly based on clinical examination; although biopsies and scrapings can provide clinically significant informa- tion, most patients do not perceive biopsies positively. To image the skin layer and annexes is often difficult with conventional ultrasound but, because of anatomical details obtained with the newest systems, this method holds great promise for addressing important biomedical applications offering unique advantages over the existing non- invasive imaging modalities. This will enable physicians to assess and manage the conditions involving the nails of a large and growing segment of the population in a better way.
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