In vivo epiluminescence microscopy: improvement of early diagnosis of melanoma

J Invest Dermatol. 1993 Mar;100(3):356S-362S. doi: 10.1111/1523-1747.ep12470285.


The majority of pigmented skin lesions can be diagnosed correctly on the basis of clinical criteria; however, there remain a surprisingly high number of small pigmented lesions in which the distinction between melanocytic and non-melanocytic and benign and malignant lesions, and thus between melanoma and non-melanoma, is difficult or impossible to make with the naked eye. Epiluminescence microscopy is a non-invasive technique that, by use of oil immersion, makes sub-surface structures of skin accessible for in vivo microscopic examination and thus provides additional criteria for the diagnosis of pigmented lesions. The technique of epiluminescence microscopy is reviewed, and the significant improvement in the clinical diagnosis of pigmented skin lesions and, in particular, melanoma by this technique is documented.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Luminescent Measurements
  • Melanoma / pathology*
  • Microscopy / methods*
  • Pigmentation Disorders / pathology*