Trends in the diagnosis of melanoma at a university center over time


  • Conflict of interest None.

Dr. Philipp Tschandl Department of Dermatology Division of General Dermatology Medical University of Vienna Währinger Gürtel 18-20 A-1090 Vienna, Austria Tel.: +43-1-40400-7700 Fax: +43-1-25330331137 E-mail:


Background and objectives: The aim of this study is to show data regarding trends in the diagnosis of melanoma over the last ten years by looking at the University Clinic of Dermatology in Vienna as an example.

Patients and methods: All excised melanocytic lesions from 1998 to 2008 were included.

Results: The ratio of excisions of benign to malignant lesions fell from 7:1 (1998) to 4:1 (2008). The mean percentage of in situ melanomas was 39% in 1998 and did not change significantly over time and no change was seen in tumor thickness of invasive melanomas. The median invasion depth was 0.7 mm in 1998 and 0.65 mm in 2008. The absolute number of diagnosed melanomas did not change significantly over time.

Conclusion: The proportion of in situ melanomas was consistently high. Tumor thickness stayed at a low level, whereas the number of excised benign melanocytic lesions decreased significantly.