Dermoscopy is a noninvasive tool that can be helpful in the diagnosis of nonpigmented skin tumors. This is because dermoscopy permits the visualization of key vascular structures that are usually not visible to the naked eye. Much work has concentrated on the identification of specific morphologic types of vessels that allow a classification into melanocytic versus nonmelanocytic and benign versus malignant nonpigmented skin tumors. Among a broad spectrum of different types of vascular patterns, six main morphologies can be identified. These are comma-like, dotted, linear-irregular, hairpin, glomerular, and arborizing vessels. With some exceptions, comma, dotted, and linear irregular vessels are associated with melanocytic tumors, while the latter three vascular types are generally indicative of keratinocytic tumors. Aside from vascular morphology, the architectural arrangement of vessels within the tumor and the presence of additional dermoscopic clues are equally important for the diagnosis. This article provides a general overview of the dermoscopic evaluation of nonpigmented skin tumors and is divided into two parts. Part I discusses the dermoscopic vascular patterns of benign and malignant melanocytic skin tumors. Part II discusses the dermoscopic vascular patterns of benign and malignant nonmelanocytic nonpigmented skin tumors. In each part, additional special management guidelines for melanocytic and nonmelanocytic nonpigmented skin tumors, respectively, will be discussed.
Copyright 2010 American Academy of Dermatology, Inc. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.