Background: Thin nodular melanoma (NM) often lacks conspicuous melanoma-specific dermatoscopic criteria and escapes clinical detection until it progresses to a thicker and more advanced tumour.
Objective: To investigate the dermatoscopic morphology of thin (≤2 mm Breslow thickness) vs. thick (>2 mm) NM and to identify dermatoscopic predictors of its differential diagnosis from other nodular tumours.
Methods: Retrospective, morphological case-control study, conducted on behalf of the International Dermoscopy Society. Dermatoscopic images of NM and other nodular tumours from 19 skin cancer centres worldwide were collected and analysed.
Results: Overall, 254 tumours were collected (69 NM of Breslow thickness ≤2 mm, 96 NM >2 mm and 89 non-melanoma nodular lesions). Light brown coloration (50.7%) and irregular brown dots/globules (42.0%) were most frequently observed in ≤2 mm NMs. Multivariate analysis revealed that dotted vessels (3.4-fold), white shiny streaks (2.9-fold) and irregular blue structureless area (2.4-fold) were predictors for thinner NM compared to non-melanoma nodular tumours. Overall, irregular blue structureless area (3.4-fold), dotted vessels (4.6-fold) and serpentine vessels (1.9-fold) were predictors of all NM compared to non-melanoma nodular lesions.
Limitations: Absence of a centralized, consensus pathology review and cases selected form tertiary centres maybe not reflecting the broader community.
Conclusions: Our study sheds light into the dermatoscopic morphology of thin NM in comparison to thicker NM and could provide useful clues for its differential diagnosis from other non-melanoma nodular tumours.
© 2020 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.