Descriptive terminology

From dermoscopedia

This is the page on the glossary term Descriptive terminology which is relevant on dermoscopedia. See also the list of terms.


Terminology using descriptive terms


 The following pages use descriptive terminology as keyword:

Dictionary of descriptive and metaphoric terminology (full text)This page has not yet been summarized.
Metaphoric terms on facial skinThis page has not yet been summarized.
Metaphoric terms on volar skinThis page has not yet been summarized.
TerminologyIn this chapter we will describe the terminology as proposed by the 3rd consensus conference of the International Dermoscopy Society (IDS).
Terminology CirclesThis page has not yet been summarized.
Terminology ClodsThis page has not yet been summarized.
Terminology DotsThis page has not yet been summarized.
Terminology LinesThis page has not yet been summarized.
Terminology PseudopodsThis page has not yet been summarized.
Terminology StructurelessThis page has not yet been summarized.
Terminology for vessel arrangementThis page has not yet been summarized.
Terminology for vessel morphologyThis page has not yet been summarized.
Terminology othersThis page has not yet been summarized.

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Dictionary of descriptive and metaphoric terminology

Descriptive terminology Metaphoric terminology Significance†
lines, reticular pigment network melanocytic lesions, dermatofibroma, solar lentigo
lines, reticular and thick broadened network melanoma
lines, reticular and thin delicate network melanocytic nevi
lines, reticular and thick or reticular lines that vary in color atypical pigment network melanoma
lines, reticular, white melanoma, Spitz nevus, dermatofibroma
lines, reticular, hypopigmented, around brown clods negative pigment network (former synonyms: inverse network, reticular depigmentation) melanoma, Spitz nevus
lines, white, perpendicular* shiny white streaks (former synonyms: chrysalis, chrysalids, crystalline) melanoma, BCC, Spitz nevus, dermatofibroma
lines, branched branched streaks melanocytic lesion
lines, radial (always at periphery) streaks Reed nevus, melanoma, recurrent nevus
lines, radial and segmental radial streaming melanoma, recurrent nevi
lines, radial, connected to a common base leaf like areas (sometimes variously shaped large clods have also been termed leaf like areas) BCC
lines, radial, converging to a central dot or clod spoke wheel area (sometimes a clod within a clod has also been termed spoke-wheel area/concentric structure) BCC
lines, curved and thick cerebriform pattern (former synonyms: “brain-like appearance”) to describe the pattern and fissures and ridges (former synonyms “gyry and sulci” and “fat fingers”) to describe the structural components of the pattern SK
lines, brown, curved, parallel, thin fingerprinting solar lentigo
lines, curved and thick, in combination with clods crypts SK
lines, parallel, short, crossing ridges (volar skin) fibrillar pattern acral nevi
lines, parallel, thick, on the ridges (volar skin) parallel ridge pattern acral melanoma
lines, parallel, thin, in the furrows and crossing the ridges (volar skin) lattice-like pattern acral nevi
lines, parallel, thin, in the furrows (volar skin) parallel furrows pattern acral nevi
lines, angulated or polygonal (facial skin) rhomboids lentigo maligna
lines, angulated or polygonal (non-facial skin) angulated lines/polygons/zig-zag pattern lentiginous melanomas (non-facial, non-acral)
Descriptive terminology Metaphoric terminology Significance†
clods, small, round or oval globules various diagnoses
clods, brown, circumferential rim of brown globules growing nevi
clods, brown, yellow, or orange (rarely black) comedo-like openings SK
clods, brown or blue, concentric (clod within a clod) concentric globules BCC
clods, brown or skin colored, large and polygonal cobblestone pattern dermal nevi
clods, blue, large, clustered blue-gray ovoid nests BCC
clods, blue, small blue globules BCC
clod within a clod (concentric clods) variant of spoke wheel area BCC
clods, white, shiny* shiny white blotches and strands BCC
clods, pink and small milky red globules melanoma
clods, red or purple red lacunes hemangioma
Descriptive terminology Metaphoric terminology Significance†
dots, any color granularity or granules various diagnoses
dots, gray peppering Melanoma, LPLK
dots, gray and circles, gray annular-granular pattern lentigo maligna
dots or clods, white, clustered or disseminated milia like cysts, cloudy or starry SK
dots, white, four arranged in a square* rosettes various diagnoses but mainly AK, SCC, actinic damaged skin
dots, peripheral, arranged in lines linear dots pigmented Bowen disease
dots, brown, central (in the center of hypopigmented spaces between reticular lines) targetoid dots congenital nevi
Descriptive terminology Metaphoric terminology Significance†
circles, white SCC
circles, concentric circle within a circle lentigo maligna
circles, incomplete asymmetric pigmented follicular openings lentigo maligna
Descriptive terminology Metaphoric terminology Significance†
pseudopods, circumferential or lines, radial, circumferential starburst pattern Reed nevus
Descriptive terminology Metaphoric terminology Significance†
structureless zone, brown or black blotch If centric hypermelanotic Clark (“dysplastic”) nevus, if eccentric melanoma
structureless zone, blue blue-whitish veil melanoma
structureless zone, pink milky red areas melanoma
structureless zone, white scar-like depigmentation melanoma
structureless zone, white, central central white patch dermatofibroma
structureless zone, polychromatic rainbow pattern various diagnoses
structureless, red, interrupted by follicular openings strawberry pattern actinic keratosis
structureless, brown (tan), eccentric melanoma
structureless, any color homogenous pattern various diagnoses
structureless, brown, interrupted by follicular openings (facial-skin) pseudo-network facial pigmented lesions
Descriptive terminology Metaphoric terminology Significance†
sharply demarcated, scalloped border moth eaten border solar lentigo

* only visible by polarized dermoscopy, † significance varies depending on context

Abbreviations used: BCC, basal cell carcinoma; SK, seborrheic keratosis; SCC, squamous cell carcinoma; LPLK, lichen planus-like keratosis: AK, actinic keratosis

Definitions of metaphoric terms

Metaphoric term Definition
Pigment network Grid-like pattern consisting of interconnecting pigmented lines surrounding hypopigmented holes.
typical pigment network Network with minimal variability in the color, thickness, and spacing of the lines; symmetrically distributed
delicate network light brown, thin network lines
atypical pigment 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 with minimal variability in their color, size and shape
cobblestones Polygonal globules symmetrically distributed throughout lesion
rim of brown globules Globules distributed at the periphery of lesion
irregular Globules with variability in color, size, shape or spacing and distributed in an asymmetric fashion
Metaphoric term Definition
regular Dots clustered at the center of the lesion, or located on the network lines (also called target network)
irregular 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 One blotch within center of lesion and surrounded by network
irregular 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

Terminology for vessel morphology and arrangment

Descriptive term Metaphoric term Definition Significance†
Vessel morphology
dots tiny pinpoint vessels flat melanocytic lesions, inflammatory diseases, Bowen disease
clods red-purple lacunes More or less sharply demarcated, roundish or oval areas with a reddish, red-bluish, maroon or dark-red to black coloration, separated from each other by intervening stroma, without vessels inside the lacunae. hemangioma
linear Linear, mildly curved vessels, considered irregular when different sizes, shapes, and curves with a haphazard, or random, distribution are presented and considered regular when short and fine (thin) linear vessels prevail various diagnoses
coiled glomerular tightly coiled vessels resembling the glomerular apparatus of the kidney Bowen disease
looped hairpin two parallel linear vessels forming a half looped or hairpin like structure seborrheic keratosis, viral warts
serpentine linear irregular linear vessels with multiple bends flat BCC, melanoma
helical corkscrew twisted looped vessels with bends twisted along a central axis melanoma, metastasis
curved comma linear, curved, short vessels dermal nevi
monomorphous one type of vessel dominates various diagnoses
polymorphous multiple types of vessels are present may indicate malignancy in appropriate context, for example in flat melanocytic lesions
Descriptive term Metaphoric term Definition Significance†
Vessel arrangement
radial crown vessels Radial, serpentine or arborizing vessels at the periphery of the lesion that radiate towards the center but do not cross the midline od the lesion. sebaceous hyperplasia
serpiginous string of perls Coiled or dotted vessels arranged in lines clear cell acanthoma
branched arborizing vessels Bright red, sharply in focus, large or thick diameter vessels dividing into smaller vessels BCC
clustered Coiled or glomerular vessels arranged in groups Bowen disease
centered dots targetoid vessels red dots (vessels) in the center of hypopigmented space between reticular lines congenital melanocytic nevus

† Significance of vascular structures depend on the context and is generally weaker than for pigmented structures