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August 1994

Melanoma Risk in Individuals With Clinically Atypical Nevi

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology (Drs Kang, Fitzpatrick, and Sober) and Pathology (Drs Barnhill and Mihm), Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. Dr Kang is now with the Department of Dermatology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, and Dr Barnhill is with the Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass.

Arch Dermatol. 1994;130(8):999-1001. doi:10.1001/archderm.1994.01690080065008

Background and Design:  A lack of consensus as to the clinical and histologic characteristics of dysplastic nevi has resulted in the recommendation to abandon the term dysplastic nevus for the more descriptive atypical nevus or atypical mole. The significance of the presence of one or more such lesions, histologic features notwithstanding, has not been carefully examined. The risk of melanoma was assessed in individuals with atypical nevi monitored regularly in our Pigmented Lesion Clinic. Any patient enrolled in this sub-specialty clinic between 1980 and 1985 without the diagnosis of melanoma who had at least one sufficiently atypical-appearing nevus and who was followed up for a minimum of 5 years was entered in the study.

Results:  A total of 155 such individuals were identified. The mean(±SEM) age of the patients at first evaluation was 26± 1 years. The group was followed for 7± 1 years. The male-female ratio was 1:1. A

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