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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010 Jan;62(1):67-75. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2009.05.035. Epub 2009 Oct 13.

Dermatoscopy of basal cell carcinoma: morphologic variability of global and local features and accuracy of diagnosis.

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

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Early detection of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is crucial to reduce the morbidity of this tumor.

OBJECTIVE:

We sought to investigate the variability and diagnostic significance of dermatoscopic features of BCCs.

METHODS:

We conducted retrospective dermatoscopic analysis of 609 BCCs and 200 melanocytic and nonmelanocytic lesions, and assessment of interrater reliability of dermatoscopic BCC criteria.

RESULTS:

Lesions included nonpigmented (15.1%), lightly pigmented (33.2%), pigmented (42.7%), and heavily pigmented (9%) BCCs. Classic BCC patterns including arborizing telangiectasia (57.1%), blue/gray ovoid nests (47.5%), ulceration (39.2%), multiple blue/gray globules (26.1%), leaflike areas (15.9%), and spoke-wheel areas (9%) were significantly increased in pigmented BCCs compared with nonpigmented and heavily pigmented BCCs (P = .0001). Among nonclassic BCC patterns, we detected short fine superficial telangiectasia (10%) and multiple small erosions (8.5%), and described two new patterns named "concentric structures" (7.6%) and "multiple in-focus blue/gray dots" (5.1%). Dermatoscopic features suggestive of melanocytic lesions (eg, multiple brown to black dots/globules, blue/white veillike structures, and nonarborizing vessels) were observed in 40.6% BCCs and significantly increased in heavily pigmented BCCs (P < .0001). Expert observers provided an accurate (sensitivity: 97%) and reliable (K: 87%) dermatoscopic diagnosis of BCC, although a significant difference in terms of specificity (P = .0002) and positive predictive value (P = .0004) was found. Arborizing telangiectasia, leaflike areas, and large blue/gray ovoid nests represented reliable and robust diagnostic parameters.

LIMITATION:

The study was retrospective.

CONCLUSION:

BCCs show a large spectrum of global and local dermatoscopic features; heavily pigmented BCCs show the most challenging combinations of dermatoscopic features.

PMID:
19828209
DOI:
10.1016/j.jaad.2009.05.035
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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