Skin biopsy is essential for the diagnosis of many cutaneous conditions. Beyond the cost and technical considerations, it is an invasive, painful, and scarring procedure. These factors lead dermatologists to be selective about what and when we biopsy, resulting in potential delay and misdiagnosis. Biopsy also is subject to sampling error; because it changes the tissue permanently, it is not amenable to longitudinal evaluation. Because specimen processing creates a delay, some treatment options are limited. Hence, there is a need to develop new noninvasive methods to permit immediate microscopic visualization of tissues in vivo or ex vivo.
Strasswimmer J. Optical Biopsy at the Bedside. Arch Dermatol. 2010;146(8):909-910. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2010.192