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Maier, T.; Sattler, E.; Braun-Falco, M.; Ruzicka, Thomas; Berking, C. (2012): High-Definition Optical Coherence Tomography for the in vivo Detection of Demodex Mites. In: Dermatology, No. 3: pp. 271-276


Background: Demodex mites are involved in different skin diseases and are commonly detected by skin scrape tests or superficial biopsies. A new high-definition optical coherence tomography (HD-OCT) with high lateral and axial resolution in a horizontal (en-face) and vertical (slice) imaging mode might offer the possibility of noninvasive and fast in vivo examination of demodex mites. Methods: Twenty patients with demodex-related skin diseases and 20 age- and gender-matched healthy controls were examined by HD-OCT. Mites per follicle and follicles per field of view were counted and compared to skin scrape tests. Results: HD-OCT images depicted mites in the en-face mode as bright round dots in groups of 3-5 mites per hair follicle. In the patients with demodex-related disease, a mean number of 3.4 mites per follicle were detected with a mean number of 2.9 infested follicles per area of view compared to a mean of 0.6 mites in 0.4 infested follicles in the controls. The skin scrape tests were negative in 21% of the patients. Conclusion: The innovative HD-OCT enables fast and noninvasive in vivo recognition of demodex mites and might become a useful tool in the diagnosis and treatment monitoring of demodex-related skin diseases. Copyright (C) 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel