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February 1962

Nevus of Ota

Author Affiliations


Associate Professor of Dermatology (Dr. Kopf), and Assistant Professor in Clinical Dermatology (Dr. Weidman).

From the Department of Dermatology, New York University Postgraduate Medical School, and the Oncology Section, Skin and Cancer Unit of the University Hospital, New York University Medical Center.

Arch Dermatol. 1962;85(2):195-208. doi:10.1001/archderm.1962.01590020035005

Introductory Statement  In 1938 Ota presented under the somewhat cryptic title of "nevus fusco-caeruleus ophthalmo-maxillaris," an unusual syndrome consisting of a grayish-blue, macular discoloration affecting the sclera of an eye and the ipsilateral facial skin in the area of the distribution of the corresponding trigeminal nerve.38 There are earlier reports4,35 and later ones of the same condition recorded under different titles, e.g., congenital melanosis bulbi,4 melanosis bulborum and aberrant Mongolian spots,9 progressive melanosis oculi,25 persistent aberrant Mongolian spots,6 patchlike pigmentation,40 oculodermal melanocytosis,15 melanocytosis dermo-ocular,26 and oculomuco-dermal melanocytosis.33 All of these designations purport to convey something of color or location of the process. The term "fusco-caeruleus"* connotes a dark-dusky-slate-tan-brown-purple-sky-blue color. Location is suggested to be in and around an eye and adjacent areas of the face.By now several hundred cases of this condition have been reported in the world