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August 2005

Dermoscopy of Pigmented Spitz and Reed Nevi: The Starburst Pattern

Author Affiliations


Arch Dermatol. 2005;141(8):1060. doi:10.1001/archderm.141.8.1060

The 4 lesions shown are all biopsy-proven Spitz or Reed nevi found on patients in their third decade of life. The unifying pattern present in all 4 images has been likened to an exploding star and is simply referred to as the “starburst” pattern. Homogeneous blue-gray or black-brown pigmentation is present centrally. The peripheral structures that give the impression of an exploding star may be regularly arranged streaks or radially streaming lines (Figure 1), pseudopods (Figure 2), or globules (Figure 3). One may also observe a combination of structures, such as streaks and pseudopods (Figure 4), forming the starburst pattern. More than half of Spitz and Reed nevi present with this typical starburst dermoscopic pattern.

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