Impact of Dermoscopy and Reflectance Confocal Microscopy on the Histopathologic Diagnosis of Lentigo Maligna/Lentigo Maligna Melanoma.

Mataca E1, Migaldi M, Cesinaro AM.; Am J Dermatopathol. 2018 Jun 15. doi: 10.1097/DAD.0000000000001212.


BACKGROUND:Equivocal pigmented lesions of the head are usually biopsied to avoid inappropriate treatment. Clinical approach has evolved from simple visual examination to sophisticated techniques for selecting the biopsy sites.

OBJECTIVE:This study aimed to retrospectively evaluate the efficiency of dermoscopy (DE) and reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) in sampling a histopathologically representative focus of lentigo maligna/lentigo maligna melanoma.

METHODS:Punch biopsies and surgical excisions of 72 patients, 37 men and 35 women (median age 70.6 years, range 39-90 years), affected by lentigo maligna/lentigo maligna melanoma of the head, sent from a single dermatology clinic, were reviewed for the presence of 5 histopathologic criteria: atypical junctional melanocytes, increased junctional melanocytes, follicular colonization, pagetoid spread and melanocytic junctional nests, plus other minor features. Forty-two patients were biopsied under DE and 30 under RCM guidance.

RESULTS:Accuracy of the 2 techniques in sampling a representative tissue overlapped in most cases, although RCM selected sites to biopsy with more histopathologic criteria, in particular pagetoid spread and melanocytic nests. Interestingly, with RCM, inflammation and melanophages were observed more in biopsy than in excision. False positive cases were not registered.

CONCLUSION:Compared with the sampling at naked eye, our results show that DE and RCM help selecting the most appropriate areas for biopsies, thus allowing not only more robust histopathologic diagnoses, but also a more accurate microstaging of tumor.

PMID: 29933314 DOI: 10.1097/DAD.0000000000001212