Dermoscopy of Linear Basal Cell Carcinomas, a Potential Mimicker of Linear Lesions: a Descriptive Case-series

Cristian Navarrete-Dechent, Michael Armando Marchetti, Pablo Uribe, Rodrigo J. Schwartz, Konstantinos Liopyris, Nadeem G. Marghoob, Lucas Galimany, Juan C. Castro, Natalia Jaimes, Harold S. Rabinovitz, Ana Flavia Moraes, Ashfaq A. Marghoob, Alvaro Abarzua-Araya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Among the various widely recognized basal cell carcinoma (BCC) clinical patterns, linear basal cell carcinoma (LBCC) is an uncommon morphologic variant of BCC. Objectives: Describe the clinical and dermoscopic characteristics of LBCC. Methods: Retrospective study including LBCC cases from 5 dermatology centers in North and South America. Biopsy-proven primary BCCs, that presented with at least 3:1 length:width ratio on physical examination, irrespective of tumor subtype or location, were included. Clinical and dermoscopic analysis were performed by 2 experts in dermoscopy. Results: Eighteen cases of LBCC met our inclusion criteria and were included in the study. Median age at diagnosis was 86.0 years, 10 patients (58.8%) were males. Regarding anatomic location, 11/18 (61.1%) were located on the head and neck, 5/18 (27.7%) cases were found on the trunk, and 2 on lower extremities (11.1%). Under dermoscopy, 15/18 (83.3%) of LBCC were pigmented. All tumors displayed at least one of the BCC-specific dermoscopic criteria the most common being blue-grey globules (72.2%). Conclusions: Dermoscopy might be useful in the differentiation of LBCC from other diagnoses presenting as linear lesions such as scars, scratches/erosions, and tattoos, among others. Some of these lesions might be confused by naked eye examination alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2022195
JournalDermatology Practical and Conceptual
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • basal cell carcinoma
  • dermatoscopy
  • dermoscopy
  • linear
  • skin cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology
  • Genetics
  • Dermatology


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