Dermoscopic diagnosis by a trained clinician vs. a clinician with minimal dermoscopy training vs. computer-aided diagnosis of 341 pigmented skin lesions: A comparative study

D. Piccolo, A. Ferrari, K. Peris, R. Daidone, B. Ruggeri, S. Chimenti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: In the last few years digital dermoscopy has been introduced as an additional tool to improve the clinical diagnosis of pigmented skin lesions. Objectives: To evaluate the validity of digital dermoscopy by comparing the diagnoses of a dermatologist experienced in dermoscopy (5 years of experience) with those of a clinician with minimal training in this field, and then comparing these results with those obtained using computer-aided diagnoses. Methods: Three hundred and forty-one pigmented melanocytic and non-melanocytic skin lesions were included. All lesions were surgically excised and histopathologically examined. Digital dermoscopic images of all lesions were framed and analysed using software based on a trained artificial neural network. Cohen's κ statistic was calculated to assess the validity with regard to the correct diagnoses of melanoma and non-melanoma. Results: Sensitivity was high for the experienced dermatologist and the computer (92%) and lower for the inexperienced clinician (69%). Specificity of the diagnosis by the experienced dermatologist was higher (99%) than that of the inexperienced clinician (94%) and the computer assessment (74%). Notably, computer analysis gave a higher number of false positives (26%) compared with the experienced dermatologist (0.6%) and the inexperienced clinician (5.5%). Conclusions: Our results indicate that analysis either by a trained dermatologist or an artificial neural network-trained computer can improve the diagnostic accuracy of melanoma compared with that of an inexperienced clinician and that the computer diagnosis might represent a useful tool for the screening of melanoma, particularly at centres not experienced in dermoscopy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-486
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Volume147
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Keywords

  • Automatic diagnosis
  • Computer-aided diagnosis
  • Digital dermoscopy
  • Neural network
  • Pigmented skin lesions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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