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Open Access Research article

Computer-aided dermoscopy for diagnosis of melanoma

Masoomeh Barzegari1, Haiedeh Ghaninezhad1, Parisa Mansoori1*, Arash Taheri1, Zahra S Naraghi2 and Masood Asgari2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Dermatology, Razi Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Vahdat-Eslami Street, 11996 Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Pathology, Razi Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Vahdat-Eslami Street, 11996 Tehran, Iran

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BMC Dermatology 2005, 5:8  doi:10.1186/1471-5945-5-8

Published: 6 July 2005

Abstract

Background

Computer-aided dermoscopy using artificial neural networks has been reported to be an accurate tool for the evaluation of pigmented skin lesions. We set out to determine the sensitivity and specificity of a computer-aided dermoscopy system for diagnosis of melanoma in Iranian patients.

Methods

We studied 122 pigmented skin lesions which were referred for diagnostic evaluation or cosmetic reasons. Each lesion was examined by two clinicians with naked eyes and all of their clinical diagnostic considerations were recorded. The lesions were analyzed using a microDERM® dermoscopy unit. The output value of the software for each lesion was a score between 0 and 10. All of the lesions were excised and examined histologically.

Results

Histopathological examination revealed melanoma in six lesions. Considering only the most likely clinical diagnosis, sensitivity and specificity of clinical examination for diagnosis of melanoma were 83% and 96%, respectively. Considering all clinical diagnostic considerations, the sensitivity and specificity were 100% and 89%. Choosing a cut-off point of 7.88 for dermoscopy score, the sensitivity and specificity of the score for diagnosis of melanoma were 83% and 96%, respectively. Setting the cut-off point at 7.34, the sensitivity and specificity were 100% and 90%.

Conclusion

The diagnostic accuracy of the dermoscopy system was at the level of clinical examination by dermatologists with naked eyes. This system may represent a useful tool for screening of melanoma, particularly at centers not experienced in the field of pigmented skin lesions.