In Vivo Confocal Microscopy in Skin Oncology

  • Caterina Longo
  • Barbara De Pace
  • Simonetta Piana
  • Giovanni Pellacani


In vivo reflectance confocal microscopy is a novel technique which enables the visualization of the skin at quasi-histologic resolution up to the papillary dermis. Since the melanin and small organelles are a strong source of contrast, this technique revealed to be useful in skin cancer diagnosis. Through confocal microscopy it is possible to in vivo visualize the architecture and the cytology of a skin tumor. In melanocytic lesion, it is possible to detect aggregates of melanocytes at the junction and in superficial dermis and to distinguish between a regular benign proliferation and malignant cells in the epidermis and superficial dermis. It is also useful for the diagnosis of epithelial tumors, such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, and in the identification of benign epithelial proliferation, like seborrheic keratosis and solar lentigo.


Basal Cell Carcinoma Actinic Keratosis Dermal Papilla Invasive Squamous Cell Carcinoma Reflectance Confocal Microscopy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Actinic keratosis


Basal cell carcinoma


Lichen planus-like keratosis


In vivo reflectance confocal microscopy


Squamous cell carcinoma


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Copyright information

© Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caterina Longo
    • 1
  • Barbara De Pace
    • 2
  • Simonetta Piana
    • 3
  • Giovanni Pellacani
    • 2
  1. 1.Skin Cancer UnitArcispedale Santa Maria Nuova IRCCSReggio EmiliaItaly
  2. 2.Department of DermatologyUniversity of Modena and Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly
  3. 3.Pathology UnitArcispedale Santa Maria Nuova IRCCSReggio EmiliaItaly

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