Depth-resolved attenuation coefficient estimation for skin cancer assessment with Optical Coherence Tomography
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AuthorReal Peña, Eusebio; Pérez Paredes, Gema; López Higuera, José Miguel; Conde Portilla, Olga María
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is nowadays being widely employed as a diagnostic tool for skin cancer. It can produce feedback on tissue morphology alterations produced by different pathologies. OCT images are mainly produced by differences in refractive index and attenuation coefficient, providing in-depth information. Intensity OCT images display the effect of tissue alterations on backscattered light, but it does not represent real physical magnitude. In a number of occasions, morphology alteration events within the same tissue type, produce intensity variations in OCT images that can be misclassified as different tissue component. The estimation of depth-resolved attenuation coefficient improves tissue contrast, helping to identify tissue identity and isolating the effect of disordered structures of the same tissue. The proposed methodology shows that melanoma and Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) pathologies exhibit different optical parameters in depth. This enhances the identification of subsurface skin features.