Variation in the diagnosis and clinical management of lentigo maligna across Europe: a survey study among European Association of Dermatologists and Venereologists members

D. Tio, C. A. C. Prinsen, B. Dréno, R. Hoekzema, M. Augustin, C. van Montfrans

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Background: Lentigo maligna (LM), a form of melanoma in situ, is treated to prevent progression to lentigo maligna melanoma (LMM). Surgical treatment is the gold standard. However, treatment guidelines are based on expert opinion, and comparative studies are lacking. Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the diagnostic methods and clinical management of LM patients among European dermatologists and residents. Methods: A survey consisting of 29 questions about diagnostic methods and treatment options used for LM patients was sent to 3308 members of the European Association of Dermatologists and Venereologists (EADV). Results: Most questions were multiple choice, and multiple answers could be ticked per question. A total of N = 415 (12.5%) completed surveys were included in the analyses. A combination of clinical diagnosis (65.7%), dermatoscopy (83.4%) and histopathology (88.2%) is used by most respondents to diagnose LM. Tissue for histopathological evaluation was collected most often using a single punch biopsy in 61.0%. The most common treatment for LM patients <60 years of age is surgery (97.6%). For LM patients >70 years of age, 66.8% of the respondents preferred surgical treatment. Non-surgical options such as radiotherapy (17.0%), topical imiquimod (30.6%), watchful waiting (19.6%) or cryotherapy (20.4%) were used in this elderly group. Subanalysis showed that respondents who take into account patient preference used topical imiquimod, radiotherapy and watchful waiting more often. Conclusion: In conclusion, the results of this survey show that there is a variance in the diagnostic methods and treatment modalities used for LM across Europe. Surgery remains the most utilized option. However, non-surgical options, such as topical imiquimod and radiotherapy, are most often used for elderly patients. We recommend that future studies focus on patient preference and compare surgical to non-surgical therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1476-1484
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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