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Abbasi NR, Yancovitz M, Gutkowicz-Krusin D, et al. Utility of Lesion Diameter in the Clinical Diagnosis of Cutaneous Melanoma. Arch Dermatol. 2008;144(4):469–474. doi:10.1001/archderm.144.4.469
To determine the utility of the current diameter criterion of larger than 6 mm of the ABCDE acronym for the early diagnosis of cutaneous melanoma.
Dermatology hospital-based clinics and community practice offices.
A total of 1323 patients undergoing skin biopsies of 1657 pigmented lesions suggestive of melanoma.
Main Outcome Measure
The maximum lesion dimension (diameter) of each skin lesion was calculated before biopsy using a novel computerized skin imaging system.
Of 1657 biopsied lesions, 853 (51.5%) were 6 mm or smaller in diameter. Invasive melanomas were diagnosed in 13 of 853 lesions (1.5%) that were 6 mm or smaller in diameter and in 41 of 804 lesions (5.1%) that were larger than 6 mm in diameter. In situ melanomas were diagnosed in 22 of 853 lesions (2.6%) that were 6 mm or smaller in diameter and in 62 of 804 lesions (7.7%) that were larger than 6 mm in diameter.
The diameter guideline of larger than 6 mm provides a useful parameter for physicians and should continue to be used in combination with the A, B, C, and E criteria previously established in the selection of atypical lesions for skin biopsy.
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