Dermoscopy of pigmented skin lesions: results of a consensus meeting via the Internet

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 May;48(5):679-93. doi: 10.1067/mjd.2003.281.


Background: There is a need for better standardization of the dermoscopic terminology in assessing pigmented skin lesions.

Objective: The virtual Consensus Net Meeting on Dermoscopy was organized to investigate reproducibility and validity of the various features and diagnostic algorithms.

Methods: Dermoscopic images of 108 lesions were evaluated via the Internet by 40 experienced dermoscopists using a 2-step diagnostic procedure. The first-step algorithm distinguished melanocytic versus nonmelanocytic lesions. The second step in the diagnostic procedure used 4 algorithms (pattern analysis, ABCD rule, Menzies method, and 7-point checklist) to distinguish melanoma versus benign melanocytic lesions. kappa Values, log odds ratios, sensitivity, specificity, and positive likelihood ratios were estimated for all diagnostic algorithms and dermoscopic features.

Results: Interobserver agreement was fair to good for all diagnostic methods, but it was poor for the majority of dermoscopic criteria. Intraobserver agreement was good to excellent for all algorithms and features considered. Pattern analysis allowed the best diagnostic performance (positive likelihood ratio: 5.1), whereas alternative algorithms revealed comparable sensitivity but less specificity. Interobserver agreement on management decisions made by dermoscopy was fairly good (mean kappa value: 0.53).

Conclusion: The virtual Consensus Net Meeting on Dermoscopy represents a valid tool for better standardization of the dermoscopic terminology and, moreover, opens up a new territory for diagnosing and managing pigmented skin lesions.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Melanoma / classification
  • Melanoma / diagnosis*
  • Melanoma / pathology*
  • Microscopy / methods*
  • Microscopy / standards
  • Photography
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Reference Values
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Skin Diseases / diagnosis
  • Skin Diseases / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / classification
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Skin Pigmentation*
  • Terminology as Topic