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February 1989

Elastic Fibers in Congenital Melanocytic Nevus

Author Affiliations

Department of Pathology; Department of Dermatology Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Lgo F. Vito 1 00168 Rome, Italy; Department of Pathology Istituto Dermatologico dell' Immacolata 00165 Rome, Italy

Arch Dermatol. 1989;125(2):299-300. doi:10.1001/archderm.1989.01670140151034

To the Editor.—  Congenital melanocytic nevus is a frequently pigmented lesion that can evolve into malignant melanoma. In this study, we attempted to determine histologic findings that differentiate congenital nevi from other pigmented lesions.

Materials and Methods.—  From the files of our Institutes, we have randomly chosen 30 malignant melanomas, ten Spitz nevi, 20 adult nevi, and 15 bona fide1,2 congenital nevi. Hematoxylin-eosin, Pinkus,3 and Weigerts' stains were performed in order to study the cytologic and architectural disposition of the nevocytic cells and the distribution of elastic fibers.

Results.—  In Spitz nevus, blue nevus, and in the vast majority of adult nevi, the elastic fibers were absent or reduced in number and thickness. In malignant melanoma, they were totally destroyed. A completely different pattern was found in 90% of the congenital nevi. In the dermal component of such nevi, the elastic fibers appeared to increase dramatically in number

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