Digital Dermoscopy Photographs Outperform Handheld Dermoscopy in Melanoma Diagnosis

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Abstract

Background:

Pigmented lesion clinics (PLCs) that use technology such as digital dermoscopy and total-body photography are thought to confer a clinical advantage for patients at high risk of developing melanoma over general dermatology clinics (GDCs) with regular dermoscopy.

Objective:

To examine the difference between depths of melanomas diagnosed in a PLC and a GDC.

Methods:

Medical records from 257 patients at the PLC at The Ottawa Hospital and 441 patients from a GDC were reviewed.

Results:

Invasive melanoma was less frequent than in situ melanoma at the PLC (7.14% vs 38.27%; P = .02). The average Breslow depth for melanomas at the PLC was also smaller compared with the GDC (0.0371 vs 0.3450 mm; P = .02).

Conclusions:

The use of digital dermoscopy and total-body photography together in a PLC appears to be an effective way to monitor patients at high risk of melanoma.

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