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September 2004

Dermoscopy of Melanocytic Neoplasms: Subpatterns of Melanoma

Author Affiliations


Arch Dermatol. 2004;140(9):1182. doi:10.1001/archderm.140.9.1182

The lesions shown are from the right anterior thigh of a 41-year-old white woman (Figure 1), the right upper abdomen of a 61-year-old white man (Figure 2), and the medial right lower leg of a 64-year-old white woman (Figure 3) (size bar, 5 mm). All 3 of these lesions were interpreted as Clark level II melanomas with Breslow depth of 0.36, 0.15, and 0.27, respectively. All 3 lesions reveal a relatively similar dermoscopic pattern. The lesions are relatively hyperpigmented on one edge with a gradient of pigment from brown to tan to the normal-appearing skin. The edges are irregular and difficult to discriminate from the adjacent skin in the lighter areas. Theoretically, this pattern could be caused by a clone of melanocytic cells that either gain or lose the capacity to produce/distribute melanin as the cell population expands in the epidermis.