PRAME Expression Correlates With Genomic Aberration and Malignant Diagnosis of Spitzoid Melanocytic Neoplasms

Pedram Gerami, Sarah Benton, Jeffrey Zhao, Bin Zhang, Nathaniel Lampley, Andrew Roth, Anastasiya Boutko, Shantel Olivares, Klaus J. Busam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spitzoid melanocytic neoplasms are a diagnostically challenging class of lesions in dermatopathology. Recently, molecular assays and immunohistochemical markers have been explored as ancillary methods to assist in the diagnostic workup. Specifically, preferentially expressed antigen in melanoma (PRAME) immunohistochemistry is a nuclear stain commonly positive in melanomas, but not in nevi. This study investigates PRAME immunoreactivity (≥75% positive nuclear staining in tumor cells) in a set of 59 spitzoid melanocytic neoplasms with known clinical outcomes. We compared PRAME status with (1) the clinical outcomes, (2) the morphologic diagnoses, and (3) the status of TERT promoter mutation. Regarding clinical outcomes, 3 cases developed metastatic disease, of which 2 expressed diffusely positive PRAME staining. Of the 56 cases that did not show evidence of metastasis, 6 expressed diffusely positive PRAME staining. Morphologically, diffusely positive PRAME staining was seen in 7 of 21 cases (33.3%) diagnosed as melanoma and only 1 benign tumor 1 of 38 (2.6%). There were 4 of 8 cases with a TERT promoter mutation which were diffusely PRAME-positive compared with 4 of 51 cases without TERT promoter mutation (P = 0.001). Our results show a statistically significant correlation between PRAME expression and the diagnosis, outcome, and TERT promoter mutation status of atypical spitzoid melanocytic neoplasms, suggesting immunohistochemistry for PRAME can help support a suspected diagnosis. However, because of occasional false-positive and negative test results, correlation with the clinical and histologic findings as well as results from other tests is needed for the interpretation of diagnostically challenging spitzoid melanocytic neoplasms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-580
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Dermatopathology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022


  • immunohistochemistry
  • melanoma
  • molecular
  • spitzoid neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Dermatology


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