Usefulness of dermoscopy/dermatoscopy to improve the clinical and histopathologic diagnosis of skin cancers.

Research paper by Oriol O Yélamos, Ralph P RP Braun, Konstantinos K Liopyris, Zachary J ZJ Wolner, Katrin K Kerl, Pedram P Gerami, Ashfaq A AA Marghoob

Indexed on: 16 Oct '18Published on: 16 Oct '18Published in: Journal of The American Academy of Dermatology


Multiple studies have shown that dermoscopy increases the sensitivity and specificity for the detection of skin cancers compared to naked-eye examination. Dermoscopy can also lead to the detection of thinner and smaller cancers. Furthermore, dermoscopy leads to more precise selection of lesions requiring excision. In essence, dermoscopy helps clinicians differentiate benign from malignant lesions through the presence or absence of specific dermoscopic structures. Therefore, since most dermoscopic structures have direct histopathologic correlates, dermoscopy can allow the prediction of certain histologic findings present in skin cancers, thus helping select management and treatment options for select types of skin cancers. Visualizing dermoscopic structures in the ex vivo specimens can also be beneficial. It can improve the histologic diagnostic accuracy by targeted step-sectioning in areas of concern, which can be marked by the clinician before sending the specimen to the pathologist, or by the pathologist on the excised specimen in the laboratory. In addition, ex vivo dermoscopy can also be used to select tumor areas with genetic importance since some dermoscopic structures have been related to mutations with theragnostic relevance. In the second article of this continuing medical education series we review the impact of dermoscopy on the diagnostic accuracy of skin cancer, how can dermoscopy affect the histopathologic examination, and which dermoscopic features may be more relevant in terms of histological and genetic prediction. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.