Dermoscopic algorithms for skin cancer triage
- Natalia Jaimes, MD
Natalia Jaimes, MD
- Assistant Professor
- Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami
- Ashfaq A Marghoob, MD
Ashfaq A Marghoob, MD
- Attending Physician
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Dermoscopy is a noninvasive, in vivo technique used for the evaluation of skin lesions. It allows for the visualization of subsurface skin structures in the epidermis, dermoepidermal junction, and upper dermis, which are otherwise not visible to the naked eye [1-3].
Numerous clinical trials and meta-analyses of studies performed in experimental and clinical settings have demonstrated that dermoscopy increases the sensitivity for the diagnosis of melanoma compared with naked-eye examination [4-8]. However, in general dermatology and primary care practices the main purpose of dermoscopy in the evaluation of pigmented and nonpigmented skin lesions is to help the clinician decide whether or not to perform a skin biopsy, refer to an expert, reassure the patient, or monitor the lesion over time with sequential digital dermoscopy imaging to determine its biologic nature .
Triage refers to the sorting out and classification of patients and lesions to determine priority of need and proper place of treatment . In the setting of skin cancer triage, dermoscopy is an important tool that helps identify lesions for which malignancy needs to be ruled out. In the triage setting, a correct management decision (eg, to biopsy or not) is paramount, whereas making a specific diagnosis is less important. For the purpose of deciding which lesion(s) should be biopsied, several simplified algorithms have been proposed for use in a skin cancer triage setting [10-13].
This topic will review several dermoscopic algorithms for pigmented and nonpigmented lesions (table 1). The principles of dermoscopy and dermoscopic evaluation of skin, mucosal, and nail lesions are discussed separately.
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- Stolz W, Riemann A, Cognetta AB, et al. ABCD rule of dermatoscopy: a new practical method for early recognition of malignant melanoma. Eur J Dermatol 1994; 4:521.
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- Seidenari S, Pellacani G, Martella A. Acquired melanocytic lesions and the decision to excise: role of color variegation and distribution as assessed by dermoscopy. Dermatol Surg 2005; 31:184.
- Unified Dermoscopy Algorithm study, in progress. Preliminary results.
- Braun RP, Gaide O, Oliviero M, et al. The significance of multiple blue-grey dots (granularity) for the dermoscopic diagnosis of melanoma. Br J Dermatol 2007; 157:907.
- Jaimes N, Marghoob AA, Rabinovitz H, et al. Clinical and dermoscopic characteristics of melanomas on nonfacial chronically sun-damaged skin. J Am Acad Dermatol 2015; 72:1027.
- Balagula Y, Braun RP, Rabinovitz HS, et al. The significance of crystalline/chrysalis structures in the diagnosis of melanocytic and nonmelanocytic lesions. J Am Acad Dermatol 2012; 67:194.e1.
- Liebman TN, Rabinovitz HS, Balagula Y, et al. White shiny structures in melanoma and BCC. Arch Dermatol 2012; 148:146.
- Pizzichetta MA, Talamini R, Marghoob AA, et al. Negative pigment network: an additional dermoscopic feature for the diagnosis of melanoma. J Am Acad Dermatol 2013; 68:552.
- DERMOSCOPY TECHNIQUES
- ALGORITHMS FOR PIGMENTED LESIONS
- The three-point checklist
- - Limitations
- The AC rule
- - Limitations
- The blue-black rule
- - Limitations
- Chaos and clues
- - Limitations
- ALGORITHMS FOR NONPIGMENTED LESIONS
- Prediction without pigment
- - Limitations
- TRIAGE AMALGAMATED DERMOSCOPY ALGORITHM
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS