High-Resolution Ultrasound Imaging of Human Skin In Vivo by Using Three-Dimensional Ultrasound Microscopy

Kazutoshi Kumagai, Hideyuki Koike, Ryo Nagaoka, Shingo Sakai, Kazuto Kobayashi, Yoshifumi Saijo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Observing the morphology of human skin is important in the diagnosis of skin cancer and inflammation and in the assessment of skin aging. High-frequency ultrasound imaging provides high spatial resolution of the deep layers of the skin, which cannot be visualized by optical methods. The objectives of the present study were to develop a three-dimensional (3-D) ultrasound microscope and to observe the morphology of normal human skin in vivo. A concave polyvinylidene fluoride transducer with a central frequency of 120 MHz was excited using an electric pulse generated by semiconductor switching. The transducer was scanned two-dimensionally by using two linear motors on the region-of-interest and the ultrasonic reflection was digitized with 2-GHz sampling. Consecutive B-mode images perpendicular to the skin surface were reconstructed to generate multiplanar reconstructed images and 3-D volume-rendering images clearly showing microstructures such as sebaceous glands and hair follicles. The 3-D ultrasound microscope could be used to successfully image the morphology of human skin noninvasively and may provide important information on skin structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1833-1838
Number of pages6
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Oct


  • High frequency ultrasound
  • Human skin
  • Sebaceous gland
  • Three-dimensional


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