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To investigate the effectiveness of early depth assessment of local burns, the depth of which is difficult to assess with the naked eye, by dermoscopy.
The morphological findings of burn wounds were prospectively evaluated by dermoscopy and videomicroscopy. Prior to dermoscopic and videomicroscopic measurement, clinical assessment was performed. All patients received conservative treatment for 21 days after injury.
A burns unit at a primary care hospital.
Thirty-two patients with 41 intermediate-depth local burn wounds were included. Inclusion criteria were time to presentation greater than 24 hours after injury and total burn size greater than 1% and less than 10% of the total body surface area.
Main Outcome Measures
Primary healing within 21 days (superficial partial thickness) and failure of primary healing within 21 days (deep partial thickness). The accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of the assessment according to the algorithm proposed in this study were evaluated by dermoscopy, and the accuracy of the dermoscopic measurements was compared with videomicroscopic measurements and clinical assessments.
The results of dermoscopic measurements according to the proposed algorithm showed an accuracy of 93%, sensitivity of 86%, and specificity of 100%. The dermoscopic measurements were significantly more accurate compared with clinical assessment (P = .01).
Dermoscopy is a noninvasive, portable, relatively inexpensive, and effective approach for assessment of the burn wound healing potential. It is more accurate if compared with clinical observation in burn depth assessment. It has a broader utility and is equally or more accurate compared with the more expensive videomicroscopy.