Dermoscopy of pigmented lesions of the mucosa and the mucocutaneous junction: results of a multicenter study by the International Dermoscopy Society (IDS)

Arch Dermatol. 2011 Oct;147(10):1181-7. doi: 10.1001/archdermatol.2011.155. Epub 2011 Jun 16.


Objective: To better characterize the dermoscopic patterns of mucosal lesions in relation to the histopathologic characteristics.

Design: Retrospective and observational study.

Setting: Fourteen referral pigmented lesion clinics in 10 countries.

Patients: A total of 140 pigmented mucosal lesions (126 benign lesions, 11 melanomas, 2 Bowen disease lesions, and 1 metastasis) from 92 females (66%) and 48 males (34%) were collected from October 2007 through November 2008.

Main outcome measures: Scoring the dermoscopic patterns (dots, globules, or clods, circles, lines, or structureless) and colors (brown, black, blue, gray, red, purple, and white) and correlation with the histopathologic characteristics.

Results: Based on univariate analysis and 2 diagnostic models, the presence of structureless zones inside the lesions with blue, gray, or white color (the first model) had a 100% sensitivity for melanoma and 92.9% sensitivity for any malignant lesion, and 82.2% and 83.3% specificity for benign lesions in the group with melanoma lesions and the group with malignant lesions, respectively. Based on the colors (blue, gray, or white) only (the second model), the sensitivity for the group with melanoma was 100% and for the group with any malignant lesion was 92.9%, and the specificity was 64.3% and 65.1%, respectively. Patients with malignant lesions were significantly older than patients with benign lesions (mean [SD] ages, 60.1 [22.8] years vs 43.2 [17.3] years, respectively).

Conclusion: The combination of blue, gray, or white color with structureless zones are the strongest indicators when differentiating between benign and malignant mucosal lesions in dermoscopy.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bowen's Disease / diagnosis*
  • Dermoscopy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / diagnosis*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nevus, Pigmented / diagnosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis*