BACKGROUND: Some melanomas closely resemble pigmented spindle cell nevi (PSCN) of Reed histologically. The distinction of these entities is important for clinical management. A recent study showed most PSCN (78%) are fusion-driven, commonly involving NTRK3 (57%). Conversely, BRAF V600E mutations are not characteristic of PSCN but are frequent in melanoma. OBJECTIVE: In this study, we assessed clinical, histologic and genomic differences between PSCN of Reed and Reed-like melanomas (RLMs). METHODS: We performed BRAF V600E immunohistochemistry (IHC) for 18 PSCN and 20 RLM cases. All 23 benign PSCN cases previously underwent whole transcriptome and targeted DNA sequencing with a 1711 gene panel. RESULTS: We previously demonstrated the majority of PSCN (18 of 23) has chimeric fusions. Among PSCN without a chimeric fusion, BRAF mutations were common. Noncanonical BRAF mutations were identified in 2 of 5 nonfusion cases, and 1 case had a canonical BRAF mutation. Alternatively, 70% of RLM demonstrated a BRAF V600E mutation. RLM also occurred more frequently in older patients. LIMITATIONS: The overall sample size was small. CONCLUSIONS: In diagnostically challenging cases, ancillary IHC studies can assist in distinguishing PSCN from RLM. Our study suggests positive staining by IHC for BRAF V600E and older age strongly favors a diagnosis of RLM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine