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Am J Surg Pathol. 1999 Dec;23(12):1506-13.

Cutaneous melanoma with myxoid features: twelve cases with differential diagnosis.

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Department of Pathology, The Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA.


Substantial myxoid change can occur in malignant melanoma, but its importance in primary disease has not been systematically evaluated. This report describes the clinical, microscopic, histochemical, and immunohistochemical findings in 12 patients with primary cutaneous malignant melanoma with myxoid features. The tumors presented as solitary lesions situated on the limbs (six lesions), trunk (four lesions), and head and neck (two lesions). The patients included six women and six men, whose ages ranged from 26 to 95 years, with a mean of 63 years. Breslow thickness varied from 0.48 mm to more than 12 mm, with a mean of more than 3.2 mm. Clinical follow-up for an average of 22 months showed one local recurrence, but no evidence of metastases yet. In all cases, there was a combination of myxoid and nonmyxoid areas. A minimum of 15% myxoid cross-sectional area was required for inclusion in the study, and up to 80% was observed. The pale blue mucin identified on hematoxylin and eosin staining was sensitive to hyaluronidase and positive for alcian blue in the 10 cases stained. Immunohistochemical staining was positive for S-100 in all 9 cases stained, positive for HMB-45 in 9 (90%) of 10, and negative for cytokeratin in all 9 cases in which myxoid melanoma remained in the block after previous sections. The presence of myxoid stroma did not define a biologically significant subgroup of melanoma. Only in cases with extensive (>50%) myxoid stromal effacement of the melanoma was there a major diagnostic hurdle. The diagnosis of primary cutaneous melanoma with myxoid features was seldom as problematic as metastatic myxoid melanoma. Positive S-100 stains, negative cytokeratin immunohistochemical stains, and hyaluronidase-sensitive alcian blue staining assisted in the diagnosis of this entity.

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