Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 307, Issue 7, pp 559–566 | Cite as

High-resolution color-Doppler ultrasound for the study of skin growths

  • Maria Scotto di Santolo
  • Marco Sagnelli
  • Marcello Mancini
  • Massimiliano Scalvenzi
  • Mario Delfino
  • Fabrizio Schonauer
  • Guido Molea
  • Fabio Ayala
  • Marco Salvatore
Original Paper


High-resolution (17 MHz) color-Doppler ultrasound (US) is used in the evaluation of normal and pathological skin. To analyze retrospectively the sonographic pattern of healthy skin and of some skin lesions using Doppler US and to compare the results with dermoscopy examination and histology to identify specific patterns of ultrasound for differentiating benign from malignant lesions. To select among them the Melanomas to describe their US pattern, the presence and morphology of vascular signal and to compare their thickness at US with the Breslow index. After signing informed consent in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki in 1964 and its subsequent amendments, 104 patients with skin lesions were retrospectively studied. Patients were evaluated with clinical dermatological examination and Doppler US, and underwent surgical excision with subsequent histological analysis. Statistical analysis: the difference between variables was analyzed with statistical Chi square test or Fisher’s when appropriate. The strength of the relationship between variables was analyzed with Pearson’s r coefficient. The sensitivity and specificity of US tests were also calculated. Sixty-five malignant lesions and 39 benign lesions were identified at Doppler US. In the 34 melanomas, typical US and vascular patterns were identified depending on the thickness of the lesion and a strong correlation between the latter and Breslow index was confirmed. Doppler US is a valuable diagnostic tool for the study of skin and for pre-excision characterization of skin lesions.


Skin ultrasound Color Doppler High-resolution ultrasound Skin lesions Melanoma Breslow index 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest related to the publication of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Scotto di Santolo
    • 1
  • Marco Sagnelli
    • 1
  • Marcello Mancini
    • 2
  • Massimiliano Scalvenzi
    • 3
  • Mario Delfino
    • 3
  • Fabrizio Schonauer
    • 4
  • Guido Molea
    • 4
  • Fabio Ayala
    • 3
  • Marco Salvatore
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze Biomorfologiche e Funzionali sezione RadiodiagnosticaUniversità degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”NaplesItaly
  2. 2.IBB Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche NapoliNaplesItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Patologa Sistematica, sezione di Dermatologia Clinica Allergologica e VenereologicaUniversità degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”NaplesItaly
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Chirurgia PlasticaUniversità degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”NaplesItaly

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