Human surface anatomy terminology for dermatology: a Delphi consensus from the International Skin Imaging Collaboration

C. Navarrete-Dechent, K. Liopyris, M. A. Molenda, R. Braun, C. Curiel-Lewandrowski, S. W. Dusza, P. Guitera, R. Hofmann-Wellenhof, H. Kittler, A. Lallas, J. Malvehy, M. A. Marchetti, M. Oliviero, G. Pellacani, S. Puig, H. P. Soyer, T. Tejasvi, L. Thomas, P. Tschandl, A. ScopeA. A. Marghoob, A. C. Halpern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: There is no internationally vetted set of anatomic terms to describe human surface anatomy. Objective: To establish expert consensus on a standardized set of terms that describe clinically relevant human surface anatomy. Methods: We conducted a Delphi consensus on surface anatomy terminology between July 2017 and July 2019. The initial survey included 385 anatomic terms, organized in seven levels of hierarchy. If agreement exceeded the 75% established threshold, the term was considered ‘accepted’ and included in the final list. Terms added by the participants were passed on to the next round of consensus. Terms with <75% agreement were included in subsequent surveys along with alternative terms proposed by participants until agreement was reached on all terms. Results: The Delphi included 21 participants. We found consensus (≥75% agreement) on 361/385 (93.8%) terms and eliminated one term in the first round. Of 49 new terms suggested by participants, 45 were added via consensus. To adjust for a recently published International Classification of Diseases-Surface Topography list of terms, a third survey including 111 discrepant terms was sent to participants. Finally, a total of 513 terms reached agreement via the Delphi method. Conclusions: We have established a set of 513 clinically relevant terms for denoting human surface anatomy, towards the use of standardized terminology in dermatologic documentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2659-2663
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases


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