- A Cochrane systematic review concludes that there are insufficient data regarding the value of high-frequency ultrasound (HFUS) for the diagnosis of melanoma or basal cell carcinoma (BCC).
Why this matters
- Early detection of skin cancer is essential for patient management and improved outcomes.
- Using qualitative HFUS features, derived sensitivity was ≥83% for the detection of melanoma.
- In 2 studies, combining the assessment of lesions appearing hypoechoic, homogenous, and well-defined resulted in 100% sensitivity.
- Specificity varied between 33% and 73%.
- In 2 studies, use of quantitative HFUS features resulted in 100% sensitivity for both, and specificity of 93% and 65%, respectively.
- No summary statements were made for BCC diagnosis because of variable sensitivity and specificity in the included studies.
- 6 studies comprising 29 data sets (20 for melanoma diagnosis with 1125 lesions and 242 melanomas, and 9 for BCC diagnosis with 993 lesions and 119 BCCs) were included.
- Funding: National Institute for Health Research via Cochrane Infrastructure funding.
- Heterogeneity between studies did not allow pooled analysis.
- Included studies were small.