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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2000 Jan;42(1 Pt 1):25-32.

Improvement of early recognition of lentigo maligna using dermatoscopy.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Regensburg, and Dermatology Associates, Tallahassee.



The clinical differentiation between lentigo senilis/initial seborrheic keratosis and lentigo maligna on the face can be difficult.


Our purpose was to determine whether dermatoscopy (eg, skin surface microscopy at 10x magnification) can reliably differentiate between these entities.


Dermatoscopic slides of 87 consecutive patients presenting 37 malignant and 50 benign pigmented skin lesions on the face were analyzed with the use of 27 dermatoscopic criteria.


Univariate analysis selected two criteria specific for lentigo maligna: asymmetric pigmented follicular openings and dark (brown or black) rhomboidal structures. Location-specific importance in relation to facial location was attributed to the color "slate-gray, " especially in combination with structures such as dots, globules, streaks, and homogeneous areas. Multivariate analysis (logistic regression model) revealed the 4 most important features to be asymmetric pigmented follicular openings, dark rhomboidal structures, slate-gray globules, and slate-gray dots with a sensitivity of 89% and a specificity of 96%.


Three conclusions can be drawn from our study: With a set of 4 dermatoscopic features, early lentigo maligna can be detected with high accuracy; dermatoscopic features on the face differ from criteria used in other locations; and our progression growth model for lentigo maligna delineates the different steps of malignant growth in lentigo maligna.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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