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The diagnostic accuracy of dermoscopy for basal cell carcinoma: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Ofer Reiter 1Ilit Mimouni 2Michael Gdalevich 3Ashfaq A Marghoob 4Assi Levi 5Emmilia Hodak 5Yael Anne Leshem 5 Affiliations expand

  • PMID: 30582991



Background: Dermoscopy is a noninvasive technique for the diagnosis of skin lesions. Its accuracy for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) has not been systematically studied. Objective: We sought to systematically investigate the accuracy of dermoscopy for the diagnosis of BCC compared with examination with the naked eye. Methods: A systematic review of studies reporting the accuracy of naked eye examination and dermoscopy for the diagnosis of BCC was conducted. A meta-analysis for sensitivity and specificity was performed using a bivariate mixed-effects logistic regression modeling framework. Results: Seventeen studies were identified. The pooled sensitivity and specificity of dermoscopy for the diagnosis of BCC were 91.2% and 95%, respectively. In studies comparing test performance, adding dermoscopy to naked eye examination improved sensitivity from 66.9% to 85% (P = .0001) and specificity from 97.2% to 98.2% (P = .006). The sensitivity and specificity of dermoscopy were higher for pigmented than nonpigmented BCC. Sensitivity increased when dermoscopy was performed by experts and when the diagnosis was based on in-person dermoscopy as opposed to dermoscopic photographs. Limitations: Significant heterogeneity among studies with a medium-to-high risk of bias. Conclusion: Dermoscopy is a sensitive and specific add-on tool for the diagnosis of BCC. It is especially valuable for pigmented BCC. Keywords: basal cell carcinoma; dermatoscopy; dermoscopy.

. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2019 May;80(5):1380-1388

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