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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume 57, n° 4
pages 644-658 (octobre 2007)
Doi : 10.1016/j.jaad.2007.05.044
accepted : 31 May 2007

In vivo reflectance confocal microscopy imaging of melanocytic skin lesions: Consensus terminology glossary and illustrative images

Alon Scope, MD a, Cristiane Benvenuto-Andrade, MD, PhD a, Anna-Liza C. Agero, MD a, Josep Malvehy, MD b, Susana Puig, MD, PhD b, Milind Rajadhyaksha, PhD a, Klaus J. Busam, MD c, Diego E. Marra, MD d, Abel Torres, MD d, Iva Propperova, MD e, Richard G. Langley, MD e, Ashfaq A. Marghoob, MD a, Giovanni Pellacani, MD f, Stefania Seidenari, MD f, Allan C. Halpern, MD a, Salvador Gonzalez, MD, PhD a,
a Dermatology Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 
c Department of Pathology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 
b Department of Dermatology, Hospital Clinic, IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain 
d Department of Dermatology, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, California 
e QEII Health Sciences Centre, Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 
f Department of Dermatology, University of Modena and Reggio Emila, Modena, Italy 

Reprint requests: Salvador Gonzalez, MD, PhD, Dermatology Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 160 E 53rd St, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10022.

Reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) has been used for over 10 years for in vivo skin imaging. However, to date no standard RCM terminology has been published.


To establish a glossary of terms for RCM evaluation of melanocytic lesions.


Prominent RCM researchers were presented with RCM images of melanocytic lesions. Reviewers evaluated RCM images for image quality, lesion architecture, and cellular details. Reviewers could utilize published descriptors or contribute unpublished terminology to describe lesion attributes. An online meeting was conducted to reach consensus that integrates and defines existing and new RCM descriptive terms.


We present a glossary with descriptors of image quality, normal skin morphology, lesion architecture, and cellular details for RCM evaluation of melanocytic lesions.


Usefulness of the glossary in RCM diagnosis of melanocytic lesions needs to be assessed.


Standardization of terminology is important toward implementation of RCM in the clinical setting.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

 Drs Scope and Benvenuto-Andrade contributed equally to this report.
 Funding sources: None.
 Disclosure: Dr Rajadhyaksha is a former employee of Lucid Inc., the company that makes and sells the VivaScope confocal microscope. He owns stock options in Lucid. The VivaScope is the commercial version of an original laboratory prototype of a confocal scanning laser microscope that was developed by Rajadhyaksha when he was in the Department of Dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Drs Scope, Benvenuto-Andrade, Agero, Malvehy, Puig, Busam, Marra, Torres, Propperova, Langley, Marghoob, Pellacani, Seidenari, Halpern, and Gonzalez have no conflicts of interest to declare.

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