In vivo intraoral reflectance confocal microscopy of an amalgam tattoo

YĆ©lamos O, Cordova M, Peterson G, Pulitzer MP, Singh B, Rajadhyaksha M, DeFazio JL. Dermatol Pract Concept. 2017 Oct 31;7(4):13-16. doi: 10.5826/dpc.0704a04.


The majority of oral pigmentations are benign lesions such as nevi, melanotic macules, melanoacanthomas or amalgam tattoos. Conversely, mucosal melanomas are rare but often lethal; therefore, excluding oral melanomas in this setting is crucial. Reflectance confocal microscopyis a non-invasive, in vivo imaging system with cellular resolution that has been used to distinguish benign from malignant pigmented lesions in the skin, and more recently in the mucosa. However, lesions located posteriorly in the oral cavity are difficult to assess visually and difficult to biopsy due to their location. Herein we present a patient with previous multiple melanomas presenting with an oral amalgam tattoo in the buccal mucosa, which was imaged using an intraoral telescopic probe attached to a commercially available handheld RCM. In this case report we describe this novel probe, the first RCM description of an amalgam tattoo and we discuss its differences with the findings described in oral melanomas.

KEYWORDS:amalgam tattoo; melanoma; mucosa; oral; reflectance confocal microscopy

PMID: 29214103 PMCID: PMC5718120 DOI: 10.5826/dpc.0704a04