Investigative Report

Impact of Dermoscopy on the Management of High-risk Patients From Melanoma Families: A Prospective Study

Jasper I. van der Rhee, Wilma Bergman, Nicole A. Kukutsch
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-1100


Few studies have investigated the impact of dermoscopy on the management of relatives from melanoma families. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of dermoscopy on clinical diagnosis and management decisions in high-risk familial melanoma patients. In a prospective study 132 consecutive patients were recruited from the pigmented lesions clinic of a tertiary reference centre for familial melanoma. Dermatologists expert in dermoscopy identified 49 suspicious pigmented lesions and recorded pre- and post-dermoscopy diagnoses and management decisions. Dermoscopy was performed in 37% of the patients. Two melanomas were identified. Dermoscopy did not influence sensitivity (1.0), but resulted in 42% fewer excisions, increasing specificity from 0.53 to 0.74 (p = 0.031). Dermoscopy resulted in a large reduction in the number of unnecessary excisions. These results suggest that the main effect of dermoscopy in clinical practice for this high risk population is a significant increase in specificity, rather than sensitivity.

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