Comparison of conventional photographs and telephonically transmitted compressed digitized images of melanomas and dysplastic nevi

N. Provost, A. W. Kopf, H. S. Rabinovitz, W. Stolz, M. DeDavid, Q. Wasti, R. S. Bart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Background: One of the most difficult problems in the in vivo diagnosis of cutaneous tumors is the differentiation clinically between early malignant melanoma (MM) and atypical (dysplastic) melanocytic nevi (AMNs) because these lesions share clinical features. High-quality digital imaging systems and store and-forward technology have the potential for use in a teledermatology system with which experts would be able to immediately transmit their diagnostic opinions concerning these challenging lesions. Objective: The main purpose of this study was to determine if the clinical and dermoscopic diagnoses and the dermoscopic features of AMN and early MM are unaltered after telephonic transmission of their digitized images. Methods: Conventional and dermoscopic photographic transparencies of 22 AMNs and 9 early MMs, viewed on rearview projectors and then scanned, compressed, transmitted (Internet) and viewed on color monitors, were evaluated. Results: The concordance in the diagnosis of AMN and of early MM by all four observers, both clinically and dermoscopically, when comparing rearview-projected conventional transparency slides to transmitted, compressed, digitized images, was high. For most specific dermoscopic features, the concordance was good, although less so for the presence or absence of some dermoscopic features, namely 'dots', 'blue/gray' color and 'red' color. Conclusion: The results reported support the conclusion that Internet transmission of digitized images of MMs and AMNs retains sufficient informativeness for diagnostic purposes. This study is a step in the creation of an international teledermoscopy network for pigmented cutaneous lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-304
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Digital images
  • Dysplastic nevi
  • Melanomas
  • Teledermatology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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