Evaluation of dermoscopic features for distinguishing melanoma from special site nevi of the breast

Emily A. Merkel, Mary C. Martini, Sapna M. Amin, Christina Y. Lee, Pedram Gerami*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Nevi of special sites display aberrant clinical and histologic features that can be difficult to distinguish from melanoma, leading to unnecessarily high rates of excision with poor cosmetic or functional results. Dermoscopy can improve clinical assessment of melanocytic lesions by visualizing morphologic structures beyond the epidermis. Objective We sought to assess the value of specific dermoscopic features for diagnosing melanocytic neoplasms arising on the breast area in females. Methods In this retrospective cohort study, we collected clinical and dermoscopic information for 104 nevi and 13 melanomas removed from the breast, chest, and areola, and evaluated the diagnostic performance of each dermoscopic feature. Results Melanomas from the breast area were larger (P = .0175) than nevi and occurred in older women (P = .0117). Irregular blotches, nonuniform radial streaks, blue-gray veil, and regression were highly specific for melanoma, whereas atypical network and irregular dots and globules had low to moderate specificity. Limitations This study was retrospective with a small sample size. Conclusion Compared to melanocytic neoplasms from other sites, atypical network and irregular dots and globules were poor indicators for breast melanoma. Irregular blotches, nonuniform radial streaks, blue-gray veil, and regression were highly specific and should heighten clinical suspicion for melanoma arising on the breast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)364-370
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume75
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

Keywords

  • breast
  • dermatopathology
  • dermoscopy
  • malignant melanoma
  • nevi of special sites
  • pattern analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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