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Clinical Problem Solving: Pathology
March 2006

Pathology Quiz Case: Diagnosis

Author Affiliations


Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006;132(3):350-351. doi:10.1001/archotol.132.3.350

Sophie Spitz1 first described the Spitz nevus in a landmark article entitled “Melanomas of Childhood” in 1948.1-3 She noted the significant difference in mortality between children with melanoma and adults with melanoma at her institution. She was then able to recognize specific histopathologic differences between these 2 groups, which facilitated differentiation and correct diagnosis. Since her article was published, much debate has surrounded the Spitz nevus concerning differentiation from malignant melanoma, diagnostic criteria, and treatment.3 Since the first description, the terminology has changed from melanoma of childhood to juvenile melanoma, benign juvenile melanoma, spindle and epithelioid cell nevus, nevus of large spindle and epithelioid cells, and Spitz nevus.2

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