Home > Journals > Italian Journal of Dermatology and Venereology > Past Issues > Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2013 April;148(2) > Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2013 April;148(2):203-7



Publishing options
To subscribe
Submit an article
Recommend to your librarian





Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2013 April;148(2):203-7


language: English

The controversial management of giant congenital melanocytic nevi. When would it be better “to wait and see”?

Manganoni A. M. 1, Belloni Fortina A. 2, Pavoni L. 1, Borroni R. G. 3, Bernardini B. 2, Peserico A. 2, Calzavara-Pinton P. 1

1 Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Spedali Civili, Brescia, Italy; 2 Department of Pediatric Dermatology, University Hospital of Padua, Padua, Italy; 3 Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy


Aim: A giant congenital nevus is a melanocytic nevus present at birth with wide extent on the skin surface. The management of this nevus remains controversial and needs to be personalized for each patient.
Methods: A retrospective multicenter study was carried out in the Dermatological Departments of Brescia, Padua, and Pavia, Italy. The inclusion criterion was the diagnosis of a giant congenital melanocytic nevus on the basis of clinical observation.
Results: Nine patients with giant congenital nevus are reported. None developed melanoma, whereas giant congenital nevi have been slowly fading in pigmentation.
Conclusion: Having regard to the doubts on treatment that persist in the literature, we should consider that decisional management of giant congenital melanocytic nevi can be really complex, because of the size and depth of lesions. Indeed, the ablative surgery or other treatments might cause significant troubles and complete excision of deeper layers of the lesion is almost impossible to achieve. Moreover, the treatment does not reduce the risk of melanoma and might lead to a greater difficulty in clinical and dermoscopic observation due to the scarring occurrence after therapy. In our retrospective study, the pigmentation of giant congenital melanocytic nevi slowly faded on its own and until now none developed melanoma. Therefore, we suggest a close regular follow-up which should be focused on the exclusion of possible complications. Perhaps, it would be better “to wait and see” since other procedures do not decrease the risk of melanoma, but rather might lead the patient to underestimate it.

top of page