Giant congenital melanocytic nevi

Jugpal S. Arneja, Arun K. Gosain*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


LEARNING OBJECTIVES: After studying this article, the participant should be able to: 1. Define what is meant by a giant congenital melanocytic nevus and understand its histologic properties. 2. Know the natural history and potential complications associated with a giant congenital melanocytic nevus. 3. Outline the nonsurgical and surgical options available to treat a giant congenital melanocytic nevus. BACKGROUND: Giant congenital melanocytic nevi are rare lesions with a propensity to degenerate to malignant melanoma. Certain lesions also may be associated with neurocutaneous melanosis, which can on occasion be symptomatic. Appropriate investigations include a screening magnetic resonance imaging scan, neurologic evaluation, and serial clinical observations for the development of cutaneous melanoma. A variety of nonsurgical and surgical options are possible for the treatment of giant congenital melanocytic nevi. METHODS: A MEDLINE search was performed to gather all pertinent articles from 1955 to 2005. RESULTS: Giant congenital melanocytic nevi are a difficult diagnostic and reconstructive challenge, requiring careful preoperative evaluation, staged surgical excision, and lifelong patient monitoring and follow-up. With proper treatment, patients can expect a decreased risk of melanoma, with the possibility for early detection and cure of melanoma, amelioration of symptoms, improved aesthetics and psychosocial sequelae, and maintenance of function. CONCLUSION: The plastic surgeon treating these challenging lesions must have a solid working knowledge of the disease's histology, its natural history and complications, and the options for treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26e-40e
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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