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Rivista di Dermatologia e Malattie Sessualmente Trasmesse

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2015 October;150(5):547-63

lingua: Inglese

Update on the use of confocal microscopy in melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer

Guida S. 1, Longo C. 2, Casari A. 1, Ciardo S. 1, Manfredini M. 1, Reggiani C. 1, Pellacani G. 1, Farnetani F. 1

1 Department of Dermatology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy;
2 Skin Cancer Unit, Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova IRCCS, Reggio Emilia, Italy


Reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) is a new technique enabling the visualization of the skin at a quasi-histological resolution, allowing the identification of clues for the diagnosis of skin diseases. The aim of this analysis was to provide new insights into the role of RCM in the diagnosis of skin cancers. Data comes from the most recent literature, taking into account previous essential reported information in this field. The study eligibility criteria were: studies providing update information, focusing on RCM findings in melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSC), without restrictions for age, sex, ethnicity. Duplicated studies and single case report were excluded from this study. A search concerning the role of RCM in melanoma and NMSC was performed on the Medline. RCM clues were analyzed for different skin cancers, in particular melanoma and NMSC, in association with clinical, dermoscopic and histopathologic findings. Diagnostic accuracy, sensibility and specificity of the technique were reviewed. Furthermore, some new findings have been described and recent applications have been discussed. The selection of articles was limited in order to provide an up-to-date revision. In conclusion, several RCM features were implemented for the diagnosis of melanoma and NMSC, leading to a confocal-based classification in most cases.

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