The use of a spectrophotometric intracutaneous analysis device in the real-time diagnosis of melanoma in the setting of a melanoma screening clinic

Br J Dermatol. 2007 Jun;156(6):1350-2. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2007.07932.x.


Background: Skin imaging devices to aid melanoma diagnosis have been developed in recent years but few have been assessed clinically.

Objectives: To investigate if a spectrophotometric skin imaging device, the SIAscope, could increase a dermatologist's ability to distinguish melanoma from nonmelanoma in a melanoma screening clinic.

Methods: Eight hundred and eighty-one pigmented lesions from 860 patients were prospectively assessed clinically and with the aid of the spectrophotometric device by a dermatologist. Assessment before and after spectrophotometric imaging was made and compared with histology, where available, or with the clinical diagnosis of a dermatologist with 20 years of experience.

Results: One hundred and seventy-nine biopsies were performed, with 31 melanomas diagnosed. Sensitivity and specificity for melanoma diagnosis before and after spectrophotometry were 94% and 91% vs. 87% and 91%, respectively, with no significant difference in the area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (0.932 and 0.929).

Conclusions: Our study provides no evidence for the use of SIAscope by dermatologists to help distinguish melanoma from benign lesions.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Area Under Curve
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanins / analysis
  • Melanoma / chemistry
  • Melanoma / diagnosis*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pigmentation Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Skin Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Spectrophotometry / instrumentation*


  • Melanins