Nipple and areola lesions: review of dermoscopy and reflectance confocal microscopy features.

Cinotti E, Galluccio D, Tognetti L, Habougit C, Manganoni AM, Venturini M, Perrot JL, Rubegni P. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2019 Jun 5. doi: 10.1111/jdv.15727.


The differential diagnosis of nipple and areola complex (NAC) lesions encompasses a large spectrum of conditions from benign tumours to inflammatory diseases that could be challenging to recognize on clinical ground. While melanoma (MM) of the NAC is exceedingly rare, benign lesions are more frequent but could be difficult to distinguish from MM. Besides MM, other malignant tumours can affect this area and in particular Paget's disease (PD). For clinically doubtful lesions, biopsy is required, with possible functional and aesthetic consequences in this sensitive area. Dermoscopy and reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) are widely used techniques for the diagnosis of many skin lesions, but their use for NAC lesions is not well established. The objective of this study was to evaluate current literature on these imaging techniques for NAC lesions. We searched in Medline, PubMed and Cochrane database all studies up to November 2018 dealing with dermoscopy, RCM and this special site. We found that the most described malignant tumour was PD and that only two primary MMs of the NAC have been reported with these imaging techniques. Although there are few data on diagnostic accuracy of non-invasive imaging techniques for NAC lesions, it seems that dermoscopy and RCM can add relevant information to be integrated with clinical examination for the diagnosis of NAC lesions and in particular for the differential diagnosis of PD and eczema.

© 2019 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

PMID:31166040 DOI:10.1111/jdv.15727