Melanoma: Study Support 6mm Criteria in ABCD Rule Interview with:
Razieh Soltani-Arabshahi, MD, MSci

Department of Dermatology,
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah What is the background for this study?

Dr. Soltani-Arabshahi: The incidence of melanoma is rapidly rising. Dermatologists are the leading specialty group to diagnose melanoma. While ABCD cirteria for diagnosis of melanoma have been used by many dermatologists, there are few studies of it’s predictive value. What are the main findings?

Dr. Soltani-Arabshahi: We showed that at an academic dermatology center, nearly 16 clinically suspicious lesions need to be biopsied to find one case of melanoma. Biopsies of lesions larger than 6 mm in diameter on older male patients had the highest yield. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Soltani-Arabshahi: Patients should understand that even in expert hands, around 6% of all the lesions that are biopsied out of clinical concern for melanoma are confirmed to be melanoma. Our study provides data on probability of a positive biopsy (one that is confirmed to be melanoma) in different clinical scenarios. It should be mentioned that while our study supports the 6 mm criterion in the ABCDs of melanoma, 28% of the melanomas in our study were smaller than 6 mm in diameter. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Soltani-Arabshahi: Future prospective studies are needed to investigate the complex process of clinical decision making to biopsy a skin lesion.

Predictive value of biopsy specimens suspicious for melanoma: Support for 6-mm criterion in the ABCD rule

Razieh Soltani-Arabshahi, M Carol Sweeney, PhD Benjamin Jones, BSc Scott R. Florell, MDa,Nan Hu, PhD Douglas Grossman, MD, PhD,

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology

Available online 10 January 2015

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Last Updated on January 14, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD