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Esperienze Dermatologiche 2010 March;12(1):9-15


language: English, Italian

Naevi and melanomas in particular sites of the skin: a comparative histological study

Passarini B. 1, Barbieri E. 1, Infusino S. D. 1, Therianou A. 1, Montanari A. 2

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Aging and Nephrological Diseases, Division of Dermatology. University Hospital of Bologna, Bologna, Italy 2 Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy


The clinical observation of melanocytic lesions mainly aims at identifying melanoma in order to excise it as soon as possible, in the early stage, when excision is curative. As melanoma death-rate is still very high, many sanitary organizations plan and organize preventive campaigns to make the public aware of the importance to check skin lesions regularly. For all codified criteria, the differential diagnosis of benign and malignant melanocytic lesions is often difficult. Naevi in some particular locations present clinical and histological atypias that may simulate melanoma and lead to wrong diagnoses. These sites are the mammary, the genital, the acral and the periflexural areas (axillas, submammary sulci, groins, pubis, navel). The clinical aim of our work is to understand how to manage these atypical naevi; for this purpose, we have analyzed and tabled the distribution frequencies of benign and malignant melanocytic lesions in different locations, considering the arising of melanoma in some particular locations. For the statistical analysis we have used 1241 naevi dating back to the year 2008 and 490 melanomas which were diagnosed from 1998 to 2008, in a period of eleven years, in order to match a significative number of cases. The results prove that in the considered particular locations the ratio between the distribution frequency’s percentages of naevi and those of melanomas is always more than one (1.5), whereas in the other sites is less than one (0.9). The results also prove that in these particular location melanoma is quite less frequent where atypical naevi are very frequent and atypias statistically do not seem to correlate to these lesions.

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