Evaluation of dermoscopic and histopathologic features and their correlations in pigmented basal cell carcinomas


Corresponding author, Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi, Dermatoloji Anabilim Dalı, İnciraltı, 35340, İzmir, Türkiye, tel. +90 2324123851; fax +90 2322771217; E-mail: sebnem.ozkan@deu.edu.tr


Background  Because of their clinical similarities, pigmented basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) can be confused with melanocytic pigmented lesions especially with melanoma. Since special dermoscopic features have been described for pigmented BCCs, dermoscopy is accepted as a useful tool for the diagnosis of pigmented BCCs.

Objective  To investigate dermoscopic and corresponding histopathologic features of BCCs and to evaluate their correlations in pigmented BCCs.

Methods  In this study, 32 pigmented BCCs in 30 patients whose diagnoses were confirmed with clinical and histopathologic features were included. Before the histopathologic evaluation, the lesions were analysed for dermoscopic features. Histopathologic correlations of dermoscopic features of BCCs and the localization of pigment accumulation in tumour mass were investigated.

Results  In addition to ulceration, large grey-blue ovoid nests, multiple grey-blue globules, maple leaf areas and arborizing telangiectasia; dermoscopically yellow-brown, whitish-yellow, and black-dark brown colour showed statistically significant correlation with their histopathologic counterparts (P < 0.05). Whitish veil, which is among dermoscopic features of BCCs, did not show significant correlation with its histopathologic counterpart (P > 0.05). It was histopathologically determined that pigmentation is found within the tumour mass as well as in the tumour stroma and in the hyperplastic epidermal melanocytes.

Conclusions  Ulceration, large grey-blue ovoid nests, multiple grey-blue globules, maple leaf-like areas and arborizing telangiectasia, which are specific dermoscopic features for the diagnosis of pigmented BCC, were found to correlate with their histopathologic counterparts. In conclusion, dermoscopy can be described as a valuable tool for the diagnosis of pigmented basal cell carcinomas.