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Dermatology. 2004;208(1):27-31.

Three-point checklist of dermoscopy. A new screening method for early detection of melanoma.

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology, University of Graz, Graz, Austria.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Dermoscopy used by experts has been demonstrated to improve the diagnostic accuracy for melanoma. However, little is known about the diagnostic validity of dermoscopy when used by nonexperts.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the diagnostic performance of nonexperts using a new 3-point checklist based on a simplified dermoscopic pattern analysis.

METHODS:

Clinical and dermoscopic images of 231 clinically equivocal and histopathologically proven pigmented skin lesions were examined by 6 nonexperts and 1 expert in dermoscopy. For each lesion the nonexperts assessed 3 dermoscopic criteria (asymmetry, atypical network and blue-white structures) constituting the 3-point method. In addition, all examiners made an overall diagnosis by using standard pattern analysis of dermoscopy.

RESULTS:

Asymmetry, atypical network and blue-white structures were shown to be reproducible dermoscopic criteria, with a kappa value ranging from 0.52 to 0.55. When making the overall diagnosis, the expert had 89.6% sensitivity for malignant lesions (tested on 68 melanomas and 9 pigmented basal cell carcinomas), compared to 69.7% sensitivity achieved by the nonexperts. Remarkably, the sensitivity of the nonexperts using the 3-point checklist reached 96.3%. The specificity of the expert using overall diagnosis was 94.2% compared to 82.8 and 32.8% achieved by the nonexperts using overall diagnosis and 3-point checklist, respectively.

CONCLUSION:

The 3-point checklist is a valid and reproducible dermoscopic algorithm with high sensitivity for the diagnosis of melanoma in the hands of non-experts. Thus it may be applied as a screening procedure for the early detection of melanoma.

PMID:
14730233
DOI:
10.1159/000075042
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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