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January 17, 2011

On Reducing the Need to Excise Nevi

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Discipline of Dermatology, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney and Sydney Melanoma Diagnostic Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia.

Arch Dermatol. 2011;147(1):105-106. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2010.397

The presence of multiple melanocytic nevi, both banal acquired and dysplastic or Clark nevi, signifies an increased risk of developing primary melanoma, but the nevi themselves are not necessarily important precursor lesions.1 In the largest series yet reported, only 26% of melanomas had a contiguous nevus (57% were nondysplastic).2 One estimate suggests that only 1 in 10 000 dysplastic nevi per year will transform into melanoma.3 Nevertheless, the ability to distinguish between an atypical nevus and melanoma, and the development of strategies to reduce the need to excise nevi, remains a continuing challenge in dermatology.