Clinical and dermatoscopic diagnosis of early amelanotic melanoma

A. Bono, A. Maurichi, D. Moglia, T. Camerini, G. Tragni, M. Lualdi, C. Bartoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Amelanotic cutaneous melanoma (ACM) often defies clinical diagnosis because of the lack of pigmentation. In an attempt to find diagnostic clues, we retrospectively studied the clinical features of 15 thin (<1 mm thick or Clark level I) ACM lesions. The clinical features of early ACMs are identified and illustrated to enable early diagnosis and cure of these lesions. The typical early lesion presents as an asymmetric macula, which may be uniformly pinkish or reddish or, more often, has faint light pigmentation (tan, brown or grey) at the periphery; it has borders that may be well- or ill-defined. In our study, these features suggested the correct clinical diagnosis in only a minority (40%) of cases. Nine cases in this series were also subjected to dermatoscopy. By this technique we identified, as constant feature, the presence of small red dots, evenly distributed or grouped on a whitish or pink-red background. Our results show the importance of dermatoscopy in the evaluation of equivocal pink or reddish lesions. Red dots seen with this technique can be an important sign for the diagnosis of thin ACM. Since this sign does not appear to be pathognomonic, the presence of an associated pigmentary network can be decisive in the differential diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-494
Number of pages4
JournalMelanoma Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Amelanotic melanoma
  • Dermatoscopy
  • Dermoscopy
  • Diagnosis
  • Epiluminescence microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Dermatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical and dermatoscopic diagnosis of early amelanotic melanoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this