Value of High-Frequency US for Preoperative Assessment of Skin Tumors

Nathalie Lassau, Alain Spatz, M. F. Avril, Anne Tardivon, Alvaro Margulis, Gerard Mamelle, Daniel Vanel, Jérome Leclere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of high-frequency ultrasound (US) in the preoperative assessment of skin tumors. A US scanner with a 20-MHz probe was used to visualize and evaluate 70 skin lesions (38 clinically suspected melanomas and 32 suspected basilar cell carcinomas [BCCs]) before surgical resection. A US morphologic study and a Doppler analysis of vascularity were performed for each tumor. Of the 70 tumors, 62 were clearly visualized, including 19 melanomas, 12 nonmalignant nevi, and 31 BCCs. Most lesions were hypoechoic. In 13 of 19 proved melanomas, the difference between the histologic and US measurements was equal to or less than 0.2 mm. Vessels were visualized in melanomas with thicknesses greater than 3 mm. All BCCs were visualized, and in 29% of cases of BCC, tumor size at US was greater than that at clinical examination. High-frequency, high-resolution US is a simple, reliable, noninvasive method for accurate preoperative assessment of skin tumor dimensions. This technique allows surgical planning to be adapted and reexcision to be avoided. However, its role is limited in the differential diagnosis of malignant and benign skin lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1559-1565
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1997


  • Melanoma, .32
  • Skin, neoplasms, .32
  • Skin, US, .1298

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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