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Arch Dermatol. 1999 Dec;135(12):1467-71.

Face-to-face diagnosis vs telediagnosis of pigmented skin tumors: a teledermoscopic study.

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1
Department of Dermatology, University of L'Aquila, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Teledermoscopy uses telecommunication technologies to transfer images of pigmented skin lesions, including clinical and anamnestic data, via e-mail to specialized centers for teleconsultation.

DESIGN:

Sixty-six pigmented skin lesions examined on a face-to-face basis in a skin lesion clinic in L'Aquila, Italy, were sent via e-mail on a standard-resolution color monitor for consultation at a university dermatology department in Graz, Austria.

INTERVENTION:

Digital photographs of the clinical and dermoscopic images of all pigmented tumors were taken with a stereomicroscope connected to a high-resolution video camera in Truevision advanced graphic array (Targa) format file and converted successively into a Joint Photographic Expert Group (PEG) format file. All lesions were excised surgically and diagnosed histopathologically.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Diagnostic concordance between face-to-face diagnosis and telediagnosis.

RESULTS:

The diagnostic concordance was 60 (91%) of 66 cases. The number of correct telediagnoses was lower, but the difference was not statistically significant (Wilcoxon test, P = .10). The accuracy of the telediagnoses was not related to the quality of the images, but highly depended on the level of diagnostic difficulty of a given pigmented skin tumor (Spearman correlation, P= .01).

CONCLUSION:

Teleconsultation of clinical and dermoscopic images of skin tumors via e-mail provides a similar degree of diagnostic accuracy as face-to-face diagnosis.

PMID:
10606051
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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