Reduction in nevus biopsies in patients monitored by total body photography

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Total body photography (TBP) can facilitate identification of new and changing lesions. By confirming that particular nevi are stable, TBP may reduce nevus biopsies.


We sought to determine the number and rate of nevus biopsies before and after TBP, and the factors associated with increased biopsy rate during monitoring by TBP.


We reviewed records of all patients in 2 pigmented lesion clinics (PLCs) who received TBP and had 2 or more follow-up visits over a period of 2 years or longer.


Before PLCs and TBP, the mean number of nevus biopsies per patient was 5.92 (589 patients) at a mean rate of 1.62 per year (160 patients). After TBP in PLCs, the same patients averaged 1.56 biopsies at a mean rate of 0.34 per year (P < 2 × 10−16). The entire cohort (926 patients) averaged similarly low post-TBP biopsy rates of less than 0.2 per year and per visit. Biopsy rates after TBP were positively correlated with decreased age, male gender, and family history of melanoma, but not nevus number.


Some information was not available for some patients.


Patients at risk for melanoma experienced a 3.8-fold reduction in nevus biopsies after TBP. Younger male patients with family history of melanoma had higher biopsy rates after TBP.

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