Dermoscopy of dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans: a study of 15 cases


  • Funding sources This work is supported in part by grants to L.T. from Lyon 1 University, the Hospices Civils de Lyon and the Ligue Contre le Cancer du Rhône.
  • Conflicts of interest None declared.
  • J.B. and N.P. contributed equally to this work.


Luc Thomas.




Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) is a rare malignant cutaneous tumour of which diagnosis is often delayed because of the lack of early clinical clues.


To describe the main dermoscopic features of DFSP.


We performed dermoscopic examination in 15 unselected, consecutive cases of biopsy-proven DFSP. Firstly, six dermoscopic features were identified collegially, then all cases were reviewed separately by six experienced dermoscopists. In a given lesion, features recognized only by all dermoscopists were taken into account.


The median number of dermoscopic features was four per lesion. The following dermoscopic features were found: delicate pigmented network (87%), vessels (80%), structureless light brown areas (73%), shiny white streaks (67%), pink background coloration (67%) and structureless hypo- or depigmented areas (60%). When detected, vessels were of arborizing type in 11 of 12 cases, and presented as either unfocused only, or both unfocused and focused.


This first study of the dermoscopic spectrum of DFSP identifies six dermoscopic features (often associated in a multicomponent pattern) and a peculiar vascular pattern. Whether dermoscopy can help to identify suspected DFSP remains to be established by further studies.