Technologies for the diagnosis of primary melanoma of the skin

Scott W Menzies
Med J Aust 2006; 185 (10): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2006.tb00685.x
Published online: 20 November 2006

There is now an inexpensive first-line approach for diagnosing pigmented skin lesions

Over the past decade, the number of published reports on new technologies for diagnosing primary melanoma and other pigmented lesions of the skin has grown exponentially. However, there is still confusion about the relative merits of the various technologies and in which patient setting they are best used. The technologies discussed here are dermoscopy (also known as surface microscopy, epiluminescence microscopy, or dermatoscopy) and its digital modifications.

  • Sydney Melanoma Diagnostic Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, NSW.

Competing interests:

I am a paid consultant for Polartechnics Ltd, a producer of an automated diagnostic instrument for the diagnosis of melanoma and a digital monitoring device.

  • 1. Menzies SW, Zalaudek I. Why perform dermoscopy? The evidence for its role in the routine management of pigmented skin lesions. Arch Dermatol 2006; 142: 1211-1212.
  • 2. Menzies SW. Cutaneous melanoma: making a clinical diagnosis, present and future. Dermatol Ther 2006; 19: 32-39.
  • 3. Kittler H, Pehamberger H, Wolff K, Binder M. Diagnostic accuracy of dermoscopy. Lancet Oncol 2002; 3: 159-165.
  • 4. Carli P, de Giorgi V, Chiarugi A, et al. Addition of dermoscopy to conventional naked-eye examination in melanoma screening: a ran-domized study. J Am Acad Dermatol 2004; 50: 683-689.
  • 5. Carli P, De Giorgi V, Crocetti E, et al. Improvement of malignant/benign ratio in excised melanocytic lesions in the “dermoscopy era”: a retrospective study 1997-2001. Br J Dermatol 2004; 150: 687-692.
  • 6. Westerhoff K, McCarthy WH, Menzies SW. Increase in the sensitivity for melanoma diagnosis by primary care physicians using skin surface microscopy. Br J Dermatol 2000; 143: 1016-1020.
  • 7. Argenziano G, Puig S, Zalaudek I, et al. Dermoscopy improves accuracy of primary care physicians to triage lesions suggestive of skin tumors. J Clin Oncol 2006; 24: 1877-1882.
  • 8. Kittler H, Guitera P, Teban L, et al. The identification of clinically featureless incipient melanoma using sequential dermoscopy imaging. Arch Dermatol 2006; 142: 1113-1119.
  • 9. Haenssle HA, Krueger U, Vente C, et al. Results from an observational trial: digital epiluminescence microscopy follow-up of atypical nevi increases the sensitivity and the chance of success of conventional dermoscopy in detecting melanoma. J Invest Dermatol 2006; 126: 980-985.
  • 10. Rosado B, Menzies S, Habauer A, et al. Accuracy of the computer diagnosis of melanoma: a quantitative meta-analysis. Arch Dermatol 2003; 139: 361-367.


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.