Dermoscopy of merkel cell carcinoma

Stéphane Dalle, Laurent Parmentier, Elvira Moscarella, Alice Phan, Giuseppe Argenziano, Luc Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive cutaneous tumor whose clinical presentation, usually a pink nodule, is not specific. We aimed in this study to determine the dermoscopic criteria encountered in MCC. Methods: From our image database we selected the patients diagnosed with MCC and scored the dermoscopic criteria shown by these tumors. Results: Ten patients coming from three different academic hospitals were studied. Vascular structures were the more relevant dermoscopic features. In 8 out of 10 (80%) patients a polymorphic vascular pattern was seen, composed of milky-red clods/areas in association with one or more additional vascular structures. Conclusion: Although an overlap existed between the dermoscopic features observed in MCC and amelanotic melanoma, the presence of a polymorphous vascular pattern may constitute an additional clinical clue to accurately diagnose this rare tumor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-144
Number of pages5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • Dermoscopy
  • Merkel cell carcinoma
  • Neuroendocrine carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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