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Arch Dermatol. 2004 Jan;140(1):57-62.

Diagnostic accuracy of patients in performing skin self-examination and the impact of photography.

Author information

  • 1Dermatology Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021, USA. oliveri1@mskcc.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the sensitivity and specificity of skin self-examination (SSE) to detect new and changing moles with and without the aid of baseline digital photographs in patients with dysplastic nevi.

DESIGN AND INTERVENTION:

Patients had baseline digital photography and mole counts of their back, chest, and abdomen and were instructed to perform a baseline SSE. Print copies of the images were provided to the patient. Following the baseline examination, the appearance of existing moles was altered and new moles were created using cosmetic eyeliner. The number of moles altered and/or created totaled approximately 10% of each patients' absolute mole count.

SETTING AND PATIENTS:

Fifty patients with 5 or more dysplastic nevi from the outpatient clinic at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Skin self-examinations with and without access to the baseline photographs to identify the number of new and altered moles.

RESULTS:

The sensitivity and specificity of SSE for detection of both altered and new moles without photography were 60.2% and 96.2%, respectively. Skin self-examination with photography yielded a sensitivity and specificity of 72.4% and 98.4%, respectively. The findings were similar when stratified by site (back vs chest or abdomen). The sensitivity and specificity for new moles were higher compared with altered moles.

CONCLUSIONS:

Access to baseline photography improved the diagnostic accuracy of SSE on the back and chest or abdomen and improved detection of changing and new moles. Our results suggest that baseline digital photography in tandem with SSE may be effective in improving the diagnostic accuracy of patients performing SSE.

PMID:
14732661
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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