Definitions of metaphoric terms

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Author(s) Harald Kittler · Ralph P. Braun
Responsible author Harald Kittler→ send e-mail
Status unknown
Status update December 27, 2017
Status by Ralph P. Braun

Metaphoric term Definition
Pigment network Grid-like pattern consisting of interconnecting pigmented lines surrounding hypopigmented holes.
typical network Network with minimal variability in the color, thickness, and spacing of the lines; symmetrically distributed
delicate network light brown, thin network lines
atypical network Network with increased variability in the color, thickness, and spacing of the lines of the network; asymmetrically distributed; gray color
broadened network widening of the network lines
negative network Serpiginous interconnecting broadened hypopigmented lines that surround elongated and curvilinear globules.
Metaphoric term Definition
Shiny white structures
shiny white streaks Short discrete white lines oriented parallel and orthogonal (perpendicular) to each other seen only under polarized dermoscopy.
shiny white blotches and strands White structures in the form of circles, oval structures, or large structureless areas that are bright-white longer and less well defined lines oriented parallel or distributed haphazardly, or forming blotches (shiny white clods). Seen only under polarized dermoscopy.
rosettes Four bright white dots or clods arranged together as a square (or a four leaf clover)
Metaphoric term Definition
regular Globules Globules with minimal variability in their color, size and shape
cobblestone Globules Polygonal globules symmetrically distributed throughout lesion
rim of brown globules Globules distributed at the periphery of lesion
irregular Gobules Globules with variability in color, size, shape or spacing and distributed in an asymmetric fashion
Metaphoric term Definition
regular dots Dots clustered at the center of the lesion, or located on the network lines (also called target network)
irregular dots Any distribution of dots other than dots as described for regular dots.
Metaphoric term Definition
radial streaming Radial linear extensions at the lesion edge
pseudopods Bulbous and often kinked projections seen at the lesion edge, either directly associated with a network or solid tumor border.
branched streaks Broadened or widened network with broken lines and incomplete connections
Metaphoric term Definition
starburst pattern This pattern consists of peripheral globules, pseudopods or streaks (or a combination of them), located around the entire perimeter of the lesion
homogeneous pattern A pattern lacking any definable pigment structures, structureless pattern
ceribriform pattern Thick curved lines created by gyri and keratin filled sulci. These gyri and sulci coalesce forming a brain-like appearance pattern.
fingerprint pattern Light brown thin curved lines that do not interconnect to form a network. These tend to be linear to curvilinear. They correspond to small and thin gyri.
rainbow pattern Circumscribed structureless areas displaying colors of the whole spectrum of visible light
strawberry pattern Reddish pseudo-network (erythema and wavy fine vessels) around hair follicle openings which are accentuated with a white halo appearance
Blotch Dark structureless areas
regular blotch One blotch within center of lesion and surrounded by network
irregular blotch More than one blotch or a blotch that is located off center
Metaphoric term Definition
Regression structures
peppering / granularity Consists of fine dots with a blue grey color
Scar-like depigmentation Area of white that is whiter than surrounding normal skin (true scarring). It should not be confused with hypo- or depigmentation due to simple loss of melanin. Shiny white structures and blood vessels are not seen in areas of regression.
Blue whitish veil An irregular shaped blotch of blue hue with an overlying whitish ground-glass haze
Angulated lines (polygons, zig-zag pattern) Gray-brown lines that are connected at an angle or coalescing to form polygons
Central white patch Central white structureless area
Leaf-like areas Brown to gray/blue discrete linear or bulbous structures coalescing at a common off center base creating structures that resemble a leaf-like pattern.
Spoke wheel area Well-circumscribed radial projections, usually light brown but sometimes blue or gray in color meeting at a central darker clod that has a dark brown, black or blue color.
Blue gray ovoid nest Well-circumscribed ovoid structures with confluent or near confluent blue-gray pigmentation.
Milia-like cyst ("cloudy or starry") White to yellowish round opalescent structures corresponding to intraepidermal cysts. When they are small and bright they are called starry. When they are larger and less bright they are called cloudy.
Comedo-like opening Round to oval keratin filled clefts
Crypts Keratin filled invaginations that are larger than comedo- like openings
Moth eaten border Border with concave or sharp punched-out invaginations
Milky red areas Milky-white appearance or pinkish structureless areas ("strawberry and ice cream"-like), consisting a red vascular blush with no specific distinguishable vessels
Metaphoric term Definition
Facial skin
Annular granular pattern Dots and structureless areas arranged around follicle openings (and involving adnexal opening)
Rhomboids Gray-brown angulated lines forming a polygonal shape around adnexal ostial openings.
Pseudonetwork A structureless pigment area interrupted by non-pigmented adnexal openings
Asymmetric pigmented follicular openings Pigment associated with adnexal opening that does not uniformly surround the entire opening or curved (or crescent shaped) pigment lines partially surrounding adnexal openings
Metaphoric term Definition
Volar skin
Parallel furrow pattern Volar pigmentation forming solid or dotted lines, parallel, thin, on the furrows (sulci superficiales or invaginations in dermatoglyphics). The lines are occasionally doubled, each line is beside the furrows.
Parallel ridge pattern Volar pigmentation forming lines, parallel, diffuse and irregular, along the ridges or cristae superficiales (raised portion of the dermatoglyphics)
Lattice-like pattern Volar pigmentation forming thin lines, parallel on the furrow or sulci superficialis (invaginations in dermatoglyphics) and crossing perpendicular on the ridges
Fibrillar pattern Linear pigmented filamentous lines of similar length with one end at the furrows and oriented at a certain angle to the furrows and crossing the ridges
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