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REVIEWS  CUTANEOUS MALIGNANCY UPDATE: MELANOMA IN 2007 

Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2007 April;142(2):131-5

Copyright © 2007 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Risk of melanoma in congenital melanocytic nevi

Krengel S.

Dermatological Practice, Lübeck, Germany


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It is an undoubted fact that melanoma may arise in melanocytic nevi, either of aquired or of congenital type. However, the magnitude of this risk is debated controversially. The decision towards a prophylactic excision, especially in the case of larger congenital melanocytic nevi (CMN), importantly depends on the assessment of the melanoma risk. In this article, scientific data from the literature are summarized to determine the exact role of CMN as melanoma precursors. First, clinical studies providing a systematic follow-up of patients with CMN are analysed. It is shown that those mostly smaller - studies reporting a high incidence of melanoma probably underly selection bias. Furthermore, the melanoma risk strongly depends on the size of CMN and is highest in very large, so-called “garment“ nevi. Second, the significance of histological studies focussing on remnants of “congenital“ nevi in melanoma specimens is critically evaluated.

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