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Arch Dermatol. 2001 Dec;137(12):1575-80.

Dermoscopic classification of atypical melanocytic nevi (Clark nevi).

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, University of Graz, Austria.



To create a dermoscopic classification of atypical melanocytic nevi (Clark nevi) and to investigate whether individuals bear a predominant type.


Digital dermoscopic images of Clark nevi were classified according to structural features, ie, reticular, globular, or homogeneous patterns or combinations of these types. The nevi were also characterized as central hypopigmented or hyperpigmented, eccentric peripheral hypopigmented or hyperpigmented, or multifocal hypopigmented or hyperpigmented.


Two pigmented skin lesion clinics.


We examined 829 Clark nevi on 23 individuals.


A reliable dermoscopic classification of Clark nevi and frequency of different dermoscopic types.


Using the dermoscopic classification, the 829 Clark nevi were classified as follows: 221 (26.7%) as reticular, 167 (20.1%) as reticular-homogeneous, 148 (17.9%) as globular-homogeneous, 112 (13.5%) as reticular-globular, 89 (10.7%) as homogeneous, 84 (10.1%) as globular, and 8 (1.0%) as unclassified. Most individuals were prone to a predominant type of Clark nevus. Seven individuals (30%) showed a single type of Clark nevus in more than 50% of their nevi and 5 (22%) in more than 40% of their nevi.


The proposed dermoscopic classification of Clark nevi is easily applicable and allows a detailed characterization of the different dermoscopic types of Clark nevi. Knowledge of these dermoscopic types should reduce unnecessary surgery for benign melanocytic lesions. Exact classification of the different types of Clark nevi is a necessary prerequisite for further clinical, dermoscopic, and histopathologic studies, which will give new insights in the biology of acquired melanocytic nevi.

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