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Eur J Dermatol. 2000 Jan-Feb;10(1):22-8.

Clinicopathological correlation of pigmented skin lesions using dermoscopy.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 8, A-8036 Graz, Austria.


Dermoscopy (dermatoscopy, epiluminescence microscopy) is an additional measure for making the diagnosis of pigmented skin lesions more accurate. It enables the clinician to visualize features not discernible by the naked eye. By applying enhanced digital dermoscopy and a standardized gross pathology protocol to pigmented skin lesions, a precise clinicopathological correlation of relevant dermoscopic features can be made. Histological specimens of four pigmented skin lesions (melanoma in situ, Clark's nevus, Reed's nevus, seborrheic keratosis) were processed using a standardized gross pathology protocol and viewed along with the clinical photographs and digital dermoscopic images that were magnified and enhanced to better visualize the corresponding dermoscopic structures. Furthermore, measurements of dermoscopic structures using digital equipment were correlated with histometric findings. Our understanding of dermoscopic features, especially the broadened pigment network - a specific dermoscopic criterion for melanoma - was refined by this detailed case-by-case correlation. In addition, some not yet fully characterized dermoscopic features, such as black lamella, radial streaks, and exophytic papillary structures, were described in detail dermoscopically and histopathologically. Moreover, measurements of these dermoscopic features and the underlying histological structures were found to be similar. Linking dermoscopy more closely with cutaneous pathology may help refine the definitions and diagnostic criteria of pigmented skin lesions for dermatologists as well as dermatopathologists.

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