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Eur J Dermatol. 2008 Nov-Dec;18(6):617-31. doi: 10.1684/ejd.2008.0508. Epub 2008 Oct 27.

Newer technologies/techniques and tools in the diagnosis of melanoma.

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  • 1Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Department of Medicine, Jamaica, NY 11375, USA. drjitupatel@yahoo.com


A number of non-invasive approaches have been developed over the years to provide an objective means of evaluating and diagnosing skin melanoma. However, the current gold-standard in melanoma diagnosis is the examination of a skin lesion by the trained eye of a physician followed by histological examination of an invasive excisional biopsy of the skin specimen. Diagnosis of melanoma by simple visual examination is incorrect in almost 1 out of every 3 melanoma diagnoses. Therefore, the diagnosis of early stage in-depth melanoma by non-invasive methods remains an active area of research. Recent advancements in computer and digital technology have provided several sensitive tools to evaluate the different characteristics of a melanoma lesion including its contour, edge, color, size, depth, and/or elevation. These tools include (1) digital imaging systems and computer analysis instruments such as MoleMax, SIAscope, SolarScan, MelaFind; (2) tape stripping mRNA; (3) laser-based technology such as Confocal scanning laser microscopy (CSLM), optical coherence tomography (OCT), laser Doppler perfusion imaging (LDPI), (4) Ultrasonography, and (5) other imaging tools such as electrical bio-impedance, MRI and PET scan. The ultimate goal of all investigational instrumentation is the prevention of unnecessary biopsies and a decrease in the prevalence and morbidity associated with malignant melanoma.

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