Usefulness of dermatoscopy for the preoperative assessment of the histopathologic aggressiveness of basal cell carcinoma

Hoon Soo Kim, Jung Min Park, Je-Ho Mun, Margaret Song, Hyun Chang Ko, Byung Soo Kim, Moon Bum Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Background: Limited information is available regarding dermatoscopic differences between non-aggressive and aggressive types of basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Objective: To investigate dermatoscopic differences between non-aggressive and aggressive types. Methods: We evaluated 145 histopathologically confirmed BCCs from 141 patients. Histopathologic types and aggressiveness from 4 mm punch biopsy and their dermatoscopic findings were evaluated. We assessed the statistical significance of dermatoscopic differences between non-aggressive and aggressive types. To objectively predict aggressiveness, we created a "dermatoscopic index of BCC aggressiveness" in which 1 point was added and subtracted for each dermatoscopic finding significantly higher in aggressive and non-aggressive types, respectively. Results: Large blue-gray ovoid nests were found more frequently in non-aggressive type than aggressive one (85/105 [80.9%] vs. 21/40 [52.5%], p=0.001). Compared to non-aggressive type, aggressive type had more multiple blue-gray globules (29/40 [72.5%] vs. 57/105 [54.3%], p=0.046), arborizing telangiectasia (29/40 [72.5%] vs. 48/105 [45.7%], p=0.004), and concentric structure (11/40 [27.5%] vs. 12/105 [11.4%], p=0.018). Regarding dermatoscopic index, cases of aggressive type with a score of 1 were most common (n=18, 45.0%), followed by a score of 2 (n=14, 35.0%). Limited number of aggressive type of BCCs and the effect of width on the determination of histopathologic aggressiveness. Conclusion: Aggressive type BCCs more often exhibited multiple blue-gray globules, arborizing telangiectasia, and concentric structure, while the non-aggressive type exhibited large blue-gray ovoid nests more frequently. Score exceeding 2 on the dermoscopic index can be screening criteria for aggressiveness. These dermatoscopic features and dermoscopic index could be useful for assessing aggressiveness of BCCs before surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)682-687
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2015


  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Dermatoscopy
  • Histopathologic aggressiveness

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