Microscopy with ultraviolet surface excitation (MUSE): A novel approach to real-time inexpensive slide-free dermatopathology

Amir Qorbani, Farzad Fereidouni, Richard Levenson, Sana Y. Lahoubi, Zachary T. Harmany, Austin Todd, Maxwell A. Fung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Traditional histology relies on processing and physically sectioning either frozen or formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue into thin slices (typically 4-6 μm) prior to staining and viewing on a standard wide-field microscope. Microscopy using ultraviolet (UV) surface excitation (MUSE) represents a novel alternative microscopy method that works with UV excitation using oblique cis-illumination, which can generate high-quality images from the cut surface of fresh or fixed tissue after brief staining, with no requirement for fixation, embedding and histological sectioning of tissue specimens. We examined its potential utility in dermatopathology. Concordance between MUSE images and hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) slides was assessed by the scoring of MUSE images on their suitability for identifying 10 selected epidermal and dermal structures obtained from minimally fixed tissue, including stratum corneum, stratum granulosum, stratum spinosum, stratum basale, nerve, vasculature, collagen and elastin, sweat glands, adipose tissue and inflammatory cells, as well as 4 cases of basal cell carcinoma and 1 case of pseudoxanthoma elasticum deparaffinized out of histology blocks. Our results indicate that MUSE can identify nearly all normal skin structures seen on routine H&E as well as some histopathologic features, and appears promising as a fast, reliable and cost-effective diagnostic approach in dermatopathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-503
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cutaneous Pathology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • MUSE
  • dermatopathology
  • ex-vivo microscopy
  • ultraviolet surface excitation


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