Access to the full text of this article requires a subscription.
  • If you are a subscriber, please sign in 'My Account' at the top right of the screen.

  • If you want to subscribe to this journal, see our rates

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume 54, n° 6
pages 1039-1045 (juin 2006)
Doi : 10.1016/j.jaad.2006.01.041

Treatment of basal cell carcinoma with curettage alone

James O. Barlow, MD, Mark J. Zalla, MD, Amber Kyle, MD, David J. DiCaudo, MD, Katherine K. Lim, MD , James A. Yiannias, MD
From the Department of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic 

Correspondence to: Katherine K. Lim, MD, Department of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic, 13400 E Shea Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85259.

Scottsdale, Arizona


Although curettage and electrodesiccation (C&E) is widely used to treat basal cell carcinoma, whether electrodesiccation improves outcome is unknown.


We sought to compare cure rates of curettage alone with those of C&E.


We conducted a retrospective records review of patients treated with curettage alone at 5-year follow-up or longer that extracted data about tumor location, size, histologic subtype, biopsy specimen margin involvement, and recurrence, as well as data about the medical history of patients treated in a dermatology clinic in a tertiary-care academic medical institution.


Biopsy-proven tumors (302) amenable to treatment with C&E and treated by a single investigator with curettage alone had a 5-year cure rate of 96.03%, with minimal complications (hypopigmentation, scarring). Tumors involving more than 50% of the deep edge of the shave biopsy specimen had an increased risk of recurrence.


This is a retrospective study based on historic controls.


For nonaggressive basal cell carcinoma, curettage alone has a cure rate similar to the published rates for C&E.

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

 Drs Zalla and Kyle are currently in private practice in Florence, Ky, and Torrance, Calif, respectively.
Funding sources: None.
Conflicts of interest: None identified.
Reprints not available from the authors.

© 2006  American Academy of Dermatology, Inc.@@#104156@@