Coputer dermatoscopy

Dermatoscopy and its integration into computer systems has developed to a diagnostic tool with high impact for dermatology during the last years. Current systems enable the dermatologist to photograph macroscopic and microscopic pictures with high resolution videocameras and to store pictures. This can be easily recalled and they are a splendid tool for follow-up documentation. Pigmented skin lesions are the main indication for the use of dermatoscopy, this is also true for its integration into computer systems. The enlarged magnification with a power of 20 - 70 fold results in pictures with more details than with conventional dermatoscopy.

Image analysis

Since the pictures are stored as digital images a computer assistet image analysis is possible. The Tuebinger Mole Analyser enables an exact measurement of pigmented lesions. In a first step hairs, pieces of fluff, bubbles and etc. are digitally subtracted, and than the border of the lesion is determined by approximation from both sides (this step can be corrected manually). Subsequently, the area and other geometric parameters are measured and the border and its regularity and sharpness are determined. This measurements are the basis for comparison of pigmented moles during follow-up and screening of patients with melanocytic nevi. Little changes can be detected with high sensitivity and the results of this analysis can be used to indicate or to reject excision. The Tuebinger Mole Analyser has the possibility to parallelly analyse two pictures on the screen. hints in order to judge if the lesion is benign or malignant. If 20 fold magnification is used for the parameters of measurements scores are calculated and higher scores indicate increased probability for malignancy. The interpretation, however, of pictures and scores requires experience with computer dermatoscopy and automatic diagnoses can not be optained.