Reflectance Confocal Microscopy Terminology Glossary for Melanocytic Skin Lesions: A Systematic Review

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2020 May 23;S0190-9622(20)30969-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2020.05.097. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Background: There is lack of uniformity in the reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) terminology for melanocytic lesions.

Objective: To review published RCM terms for melanocytic lesions and identify redundant, synonymous terms.

Methods: Systematic review of original research articles adhering to PRISMA guidelines was conducted until August 15, 2018. Two investigators gathered all published RCM terms used to describe melanoma and melanocytic nevi. Synonymous terms were grouped based on similarity in definition and in histopathological correlation.

Results: Out of 156 full-text screened articles, 59 studies met the inclusion criteria. We identified 209 terms; 191 (91.4%) corresponding to 'high-magnification/cellular level' terms and 18 (8.6%) corresponding to 'low-magnification/architectural patterns' terms. The overall average use frequency of RCM terms was 3.1 times (range 1 - 31). By grouping of individual RCM terms based on 'likely-synonymous' definitions and by eliminating terms lacking clear definition, the total number of RCM terms could be potentially reduced from 209 to 40 terms (80.8% reduction).

Limitations: Non-English and non-peer reviewed articles were excluded.

Conclusions: This systematic review of published RCM terms identified significant terminology redundancy. It provides the basis for subsequent terminology consensus on melanocytic neoplasms.

Keywords: diagnosis; melanocytic; melanoma; nevus; non-invasive; reflectance confocal microscopy; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review