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PLoS One. 2018 Mar 7;13(3):e0193321. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0193321. eCollection 2018.

Acral melanoma detection using a convolutional neural network for dermoscopy images.

Author information

Department of Media Technology, Graduate School of Media, Sogang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Medical Physics Division, Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, United States of America.
Department of Electronics Engineering, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Department of Dermatology, Keimyung University, College of Medicine, Daegu, Republic of Korea.
Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology Research Institute, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



Acral melanoma is the most common type of melanoma in Asians, and usually results in a poor prognosis due to late diagnosis. We applied a convolutional neural network to dermoscopy images of acral melanoma and benign nevi on the hands and feet and evaluated its usefulness for the early diagnosis of these conditions.


A total of 724 dermoscopy images comprising acral melanoma (350 images from 81 patients) and benign nevi (374 images from 194 patients), and confirmed by histopathological examination, were analyzed in this study. To perform the 2-fold cross validation, we split them into two mutually exclusive subsets: half of the total image dataset was selected for training and the rest for testing, and we calculated the accuracy of diagnosis comparing it with the dermatologist's and non-expert's evaluation.


The accuracy (percentage of true positive and true negative from all images) of the convolutional neural network was 83.51% and 80.23%, which was higher than the non-expert's evaluation (67.84%, 62.71%) and close to that of the expert (81.08%, 81.64%). Moreover, the convolutional neural network showed area-under-the-curve values like 0.8, 0.84 and Youden's index like 0.6795, 0.6073, which were similar score with the expert.


Although further data analysis is necessary to improve their accuracy, convolutional neural networks would be helpful to detect acral melanoma from dermoscopy images of the hands and feet.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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