Content » Vol 97, Issue 2

Clinical Report

Two Consecutive Standardized Skin Surface Biopsies: An Improved Sampling Method to Evaluate Demodex Density as a Diagnostic Tool for Rosacea and Demodicosis

Fabienne M.N. Forton, Viviane De Maertelaer
DOI: 10.2340/00015555-2528


Diagnosing papulopustular rosacea is not always straightforward; no specific diagnostic test is currently available. A high density of Demodex mites is consistently observed in this condition. This retrospective study assesses an improved method for evaluating Demodex density among 1,044 patients presenting to our dermatology practice. The skin was cleaned with ether and Demodex densities were measured in 2 consecutive standardized skin surface biopsies taken from the same site. Mean densities in patients with rosacea and demodicosis were much higher than those in healthy controls and patients with other facial dermatoses. The optimal cut-off values for the 2 biopsies were combined and the resultant criterion (presence of a first biopsy density > 5 Demodex/cm2 or a second biopsy density > 10 Demodex/cm2) enabled confirmation of a diagnosis of rosacea or demodicosis with a sensitivity of 98.7% and specificity of 95.5%, making this a valuable diagnostic tool for dermatologists in routine clinical practice


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