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Minerva Pediatrica 2004 June;56(3):349-52

language: English

Sutton's nevus and growth hormone therapy

Bozzola E., Giacchero R., Barberi S., Borroni G.


Growth hormone (GH) has been suggested to increase the growth of melanocytic nevi and the risk for melanoma in short children treated with substitutive therapy. On the contrary, in GH deficient patients the influence of GH treatment on the appearance and the long-term evolution of Sutton's nevus, a pigmented melanocytic lesion surrounded by a ring (halo) of depigmentation, that usually and progressively involves the nevus, is debated. The aim of this study was to investigate whether GH therapy causes an accelerated growth of Sutton's nevus. In our study, we evaluated 3 children with GH deficiency sharing Sutton's nevus to investigate the relationship between these melanocytic lesions and growth hormone. In case 1 the appearance of the nevus could be induced by hGH therapy. However, the lesion did not change in shape, colour and size even if he entered puberty during substitutive treatment. Moreover, Sutton's nevus is present in case 2, who is prepuberal and not yet treated with hGH. In case 3 Sutton's nevi occurred during GH treatment and after the onset of puberty, but didn't show any long-term change in both the number and size. No clear influence of both GH therapy and sexual steroids on Sutton's nevi was observed.

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