RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Apoptosis in seborrheic keratoses: an open door to a new dermoscopic score.

The aetiology of seborrheic keratoses (SK), the most common benign epithelial tumours, and any relationship with malignancy are not yet known. As a protective anti-cancer mechanism, apoptosis reflects cellular loss as a reaction to proliferative activity. The objective of this study was to quantify apoptosis in different SK types (acanthotic, hyperkeratotic, reticulated, irritated and clonal) and correlate the dermoscopic picture with apoptosis rate. After a qualitative and quantitative analysis of dermoscopic images, we defined a new quantitative dermoscopic score (C3V2F, crypts, millia cysts, colours, hairpin vessels, irregular vessels, fissures) from 0 to 22, which enabled us to establish cut-offs correlating with apoptosis rates. All five SK forms were associated with lower apoptosis rates compared with normal skin. A C3V2F score >10 and greater number of crypts and colours reflected a higher apoptosis rate, which implies a benign character of evolution. In contrast, the presence of irregular vessels on more than 50% of the lesion surface implied a lower rate of apoptosis and probably associated with a risk of malignant transformation. On the basis of dermoscopic information, we used multiple regression to establish a model for estimating the rate of apoptosis with a 0.7 prediction interval (approximately 1S.D.). The new C3V2F score could be valuable for the clinical evaluation of possible SK prognosis and decisions regarding excision.

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