Confocal features of equivocal facial lesions on severely sun-damaged skin: four case studies with dermatoscopic, confocal, and histopathologic correlation.

Wurm EM, Curchin CE, Lambie D, Longo C, Pellacani G, Soyer HP.; J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012 Mar;66(3):463-73.


BACKGROUND: Facial skin has a distinct histologic architecture and reveals specific dermatoscopic features. Diagnosis of lentigo maligna on the face is often challenging because of the overlap of clinical and morphologic features with other lesions. 

OBJECTIVES: We aim to show the value of reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) as a noninvasive diagnostic tool for facial lesions and to increase knowledge of RCM morphologic features among the scientific community. 

METHODS: We describe a series of 4 facial lesions on severely sun-damaged skin that was evaluated via RCM immediately after face-to-face examination, followed by shave biopsy for histopathological analysis. RESULTS: Lesions included a lentigo maligna, a pigmented seborrheic keratosis, pigmented basal cell carcinoma, and a pigmented actinic keratosis. In the presented cases, RCM enabled an accurate diagnosis. 

LIMITATIONS: The study describes morphologic features on selected cases, but does not test accuracy of RCM criteria. 

CONCLUSIONS: RCM is a useful adjuvant for the accurate and precise diagnosis of equivocal facial lesions.