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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2000 April;135(2):153-9


language: Italian

Teledermatoscopy. Results of a multicentric study on pigmented skin lesions

Piccolo D., Soyer H. P. *, Smolle J. *, Wolf I. H. *, Argenziano G. **, Cerroni L. *, Ferrari A., Magrini F. ***, Mazzocchetti G., Pizzichetta M. A. ****, Kerl H. *, Chimenti S.

Università degli Studi - L’Aquila Clinica Dermatologica * Università degli Studi - Graz (Austria) Clinica Dermatologica ** Università degli Studi - Napoli Clinica Dermatologica *** Addenbrooke’s Hospital - Cambridge (Inghilterra) Clinica Dermatologica **** Centro di Riferimento Oncologico - Aviano Oncologia Medica


Background. To perform a multicentric study in evaluating the diagnostic accordance between “face-to-face” diagnosis and telediagnosis, clinical and dermatoscopic digital images of pigmented skin tumors were sent by e-mail to 5 remote European centers for teleconsultation.
Methods. Fourty patients (21 males and 19 females; age range 3 to 91 years) with pigmented skin neoplasms (11 malignant melanomas, 23 melanocytic nevi, 3 basal cell carcinomas, 3 lentigines, 2 seborrheic keratoses and 1 angiokeratoma) were evaluated on a “face-to-face” basis at the Department of Dermatology of Graz, Austria. All clinical and dermatoscopic images were compressed in JPEG format file and then sent by E-mail to 6 physicians (dermatologists, oncologists) in 5 centers for telediagnosis. All lesions were surgically excised and histopathologically examined in Graz.
Results. Eight out of 11 melanomas were correctly diagnosed on a “face-to-face” basis in Graz while one nevus was overdiagnosed as melanoma (k=0.740). Interestingly, only one out of the 6 physicians performing the remote diagnoses recognized correctly 9 out of 11 melanomas and did not overdiagnose one pigmented skin tumor as melanoma (k=0.870). Another physician recognized correctly 10 out of 11 melanoma but overdiagnosed 2 nevi as melanomas (k=0.822). Kappa values for all remote centers ranged from 0.350 to 0.870.
Conclusions. The results of this study demonstrated the feasibility and reliability of teledermatoscopy for the diagnosis of pigmented skin lesions especially when performed by experts in the field.

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