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October 2001

The ABCD Rule of Dermatoscopy Does Not Apply to Small Melanocytic Skin Lesions

Arch Dermatol. 2001;137(10):1376-1378. doi:

One of the most relevant diagnostic methods used in dermatoscopy is the ABCD rule (A, asymmetry; B, borders; C, colors; D, differential structures) set forth by Stolz et al.1 Nachbar et al2 demonstrated the reproducibility of the ABCD rule in a prospective study, with 90% specificity and 93% sensitivity in the diagnosis of melanoma. However, 2 recent studies revealed controversial results regarding the validity of the ABCD rule.3,4 To investigate interobserver reliability and diagnostic validity of the ABCD rule in the diagnosis of melanoma, 129 small (≤5-mm) melanocytic skin lesions were evaluated by 6 observers in a retrospective study.