Dermatology Online Journal
Malignant melanoma arising in a nevus spilus
- Author(s): Angit, C
- Khirwadkar, N
- Azurdia, R M
- et al.
Malignant melanoma arising in a nevus spilus1. Dermatology
C Angit1, N Khirwadkar2, R M Azurdia1
Dermatology Online Journal 17 (4): 10
Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Malignant melanoma arising within a nevus spilus is rare. Nevus spilus is characterized by darkly pigmented macules and papules with background hyperpigmention. We report a 65-year-old woman who presented with a melanoma arising in a nevus spilus that had been present since birth.
Malignant melanoma arising within a nevus spilus is rare. Nevus spilus is characterized by darkly pigmented macules and papules with background hyperpigmention .
|Figure 1||Figure 2|
A 65-year-old woman was referred to our dermatology department for a suspicious pigmented lesion over her lower back. This lesion was present since birth and she had noticed a recent change in it with darkening of the pigmentation. She had skin type III. Her past medical history included chronic obstructive airway disease, osteoarthritis, hypertension, and psoriasis.
Examination revealed a large nevus spilus measuring 9 cm x 3 cm with a 5 mm black nodule on the upper border of this nevus (Figure 1) affecting the mid-lower lumbar area of the back. Dermatoscopic examination showed a blue-grey veil, irregular pigment network with dots and globules - highly suggestive of a malignant melanoma. The nodule was excised immediately.
Excisional biopsy (Figure 2) showed an asymmetrical melanocytic lesion consisting of junctional and dermal nests of atypical melanocytes. The melanocytes showed moderate cytological atypia with eosinophilic nucleoli. Nuclei with irregular nuclear contours were present. The mitotic activity was low. The appearances were those of a superficial spreading malignant melanoma in vertical growth phase with a Breslow thickness of 1.1 mm and Clark level III.
Malignant melanoma arising within a nevus spilus is rare. Nevus spilus is characterized by darkly pigmented macules and papules with background hyperpigmention . Nevus spilus does not appear to be a significant risk marker for melanoma. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of nevus spilus between patients with cutaneous melanoma and controls taken from general dermatology outpatients (5 out of 105; 4.5% vs. 14 of 106; 2.3%) respectively . In addition, another observational study reported 2 patients among 946 patients with nevus spilus had transformed into melanoma .
The multistep process of neoplasia has been postulated in the development of melanoma from nevus spilus . A close follow-up by sequential digital dermatoscopy and excision of lesions with dynamic changes may assist in the early detection of melanoma as suggested by an observational clinical study in which adult patients with unilateral segmental nevus spilus were monitored .
Based on the observations of the case reported, the potential of melanoma arising in nevus spilus must be considered. Patients with nevus spilus do not require regular clinic follow up but should be advised to monitor for any changes in their nevi by following the ABCD mole-watching advice.
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