July 1999

A Histopathologic Evaluation of Vulvar Melanosis

Author Affiliations

Not Available


Copyright 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1999

Arch Dermatol. 1999;135(7):857-858. doi:10-1001/pubs.Arch Dermatol.-ISSN-0003-987x-135-7-dlt0799

Vulvar melanosis (VM) clinically may mimic malignant melanoma (Figure 1), but histologically lacks substantial melanocytic proliferation or atypia. Key histopathologic findings include basal cell layer hyperpigmentation with occasional acanthosis and pigment incontinence (Figure 2, top).1 The origin of these lesions is unknown, and the clinical significance is relatively unclear. Because human papillomavirus (HPV) is involved in the pathogenesis of many anogenital lesions and specific HPV types have been correlated with pigmented lesions,2 we investigated whether HPV could also play a role in VM.

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