Journal of Ultrasound

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 423–431 | Cite as

Skin cancer: findings and role of high-resolution ultrasound

  • Orlando CatalanoEmail author
  • Fernando Alfageme Roldán
  • Carlo Varelli
  • Robert Bard
  • Antonio Corvino
  • Ximena Wortsman
Review Article


Currently available high-resolution transducers allow a detailed ultrasound (US) assessment of skin tumors. US complements clinical examination, dermoscopy, and biopsy in the initial differential diagnosis, surgical planning, locoregional staging, and follow-up of patients with skin malignancies. It is important for dermatologists, skin surgeons, and US operators to be aware of the US imaging findings and to recognize the clinical scenarios where imaging is indicated in the management of skin cancer. The purpose of this review article is to address the most common indications for US in skin oncology and to provide a comprehensive guide to the gray-scale and color-Doppler findings in cutaneous malignant tumors.


Skin ultrasound Dermatology ultrasound Skin tumors Soft tissues Melanoma 



Cutaneous melanoma


Basal cell carcinoma


Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans


Kaposi sarcoma


Merkel cell carcinoma


Primary cutaneous lymphoma


Squamous cell carcinoma





The authors are grateful to Alessandra Trocino, librarian at the National Cancer Institute Fondazione Pascale of Naples, Italy, for the bibliographic assistance.


The authors declare that they did not receive any funding for this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This is a review article. The images included are from current clinical practice. Anyway, all procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

This is a review article. The images included are from current clinical practice. For retrospective chart reviews, the authors obtained the consent requirement to be waived.


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Copyright information

© Società Italiana di Ultrasonologia in Medicina e Biologia (SIUMB) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Radiology UnitIstituto Diagnostico VarelliNaplesItaly
  2. 2.Hospital Universitario Puerta De Hierro MajadahondaMadridSpain
  3. 3.Bard Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of Movement and Wellness SciencesUniversity of Naples ParthenopeNaplesItaly
  5. 5.Department of Dermatology, Institute for Diagnostic Imaging and Research of the Skin and Soft Tissues ClinicUniversity of Chile and Pontifical Catholic University of ChileSantiagoChile

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