Criteria for the Diagnosis of Malignant Melanoma

  • Guido Massi
  • Philip E. Leboit


The diagnosis of nevi and melanomas is currently achieved through the recognition of particular histological details (the so called criteria) that, when taken together, should allow us to reach the correct diagnosis. Unfortunately, this procedure is not so simple because many criteria are of low specificity and sensitivity. Criteria are evaluated differently by different observers. They are derived from typical, not difficult cases, and are seldom tested. In sum, none of the criteria useful for the diagnosis of melanomas are specific and diagnostic and they are all subject to contrasting interpretations by different observers (or even by the same observer, when in a different mood...). Conflicting criteria can be present in the same lesion. The final diagnosis can depend on which criteria we consider significant and on which we decide to ignore.


Merkel Cell Carcinoma Superficial Spreading Melanocytic Lesion Paget Disease Spinous Layer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guido Massi
    • 1
  • Philip E. Leboit
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PathologyCatholic University Medical SchoolRomeItaly
  2. 2.University of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA

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