Histomorphologic spectrum of germline-related and sporadic BAP1-inactivated melanocytic tumors

Erin M. Garfield, Kara E. Walton, Victor L. Quan, Timothy VandenBoom, Bin Zhang, Betty Y. Kong, Maria Cristina Isales, Elnaz Panah, Gene Kim, Pedram Gerami*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: BRCA1-associated protein 1 (BAP1)-inactivated melanocytic tumors (BIMTs) are often the earliest sign of the BAP1 tumor predisposition syndrome. Identification of BIMTs and selection of patients for germline testing affect the lives of patients with germline BAP1 mutations. Objective: To describe the spectrum of histomorphologic findings in BAP1-inactivated melanocytic lesions to improve their recognition. We determined the frequency of sporadic versus germline cases in our cohort, assessing whether any features were statistically linked to germline status. Methods: Histomorphologic features of BAP1-inactivated melanocytic lesions were analyzed by comparing cases with germline mutations with those with unknown or negative status. Available clinical follow-up data were reported. Results: The histomorphologic spectrum of BAP1-inactivated melanocytic lesions is broad; it includes cases with spitzoid cytomorphology (69%), smaller epithelioid cells without spitzoid features (31%), and rhabdoid cytologic features (58%). BIMTs from patients with germline mutations were statistically more likely to have an extensive junctional component of BAP1-inactivated melanocytes (P =.0177). All 11 patients with suspected or confirmed germline mutations had a history of cutaneous melanoma or multiple BIMTs. Limitations: The unknown germline status of 77 patients. Conclusion: Approximately 12% of patients with BIMTs have germline mutations. Extensive junctional involvement in a BIMT and a personal history of melanoma or previous BIMT may be additional indications for germline testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-534
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • BAP1
  • BAP1-inactivated melanocytic lesions
  • BAPoma
  • BIMT
  • germline
  • histomorphology
  • tumor predisposition syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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