Content » Vol 79, Issue 6

Clinical Report

The Dermatoscopic ABCD Rule Does Not Improve Diagnostic Accuracy of Malignant Melanoma

Henrik Lorentzen, Kaare Weismann, Lena Secher, Carsten sand Petersen, Frederik Grønhøj Larsen
DOI: 10.1080/00015559975000994


The dermatoscopic ABCD rule has been suggested to improve diagnostic performance regarding cutaneous malignant melanoma. Using this rule, a total dermatoscopy score is calculated from the presence of various dermatoscopic elements. A total dermatoscopy score above 4.75 signifies possible and 5.45 probable melanoma. We compared the diagnostic accuracy of dermatoscopy with and without the use of the ABCD rule. Furthermore, receiver operating characteristic analysis was performed for the ABCD rule. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.854 (range 0.777-0.906) demonstrating that in 85.4% of the cases, cutaneous malignant melanomas were rated higher than the non-melanoma skin lesions. Sensitivity for the melanoma diagnosis was higher for simple dermatoscopy than when the ABCD rule was used (p<0.05). There was no difference in specificity when a total dermatoscopy score of 4.75 was used as cut-off point, but specificity was lower for simple dermatoscopy than when the total dermatoscopy score of 5.45 was used. Diagnostic accuracy was higher for simple dermatoscopy than for the ABCD rule (p<0.01). In conclusion, the dermatoscopic ABCD rule was not superior to simple dermatoscopy, and fewer malignant melanomas were identified with this rule.


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