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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002 Jul;47(1):137-9.

Morphologic changes of a pigmented Spitz nevus assessed by dermoscopy.

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Division of Medical Oncology C-Oncology Prevention, National Cancer Institute, Aviano, Italy.


Pigmented Spitz nevus may simulate cutaneous melanoma clinically and histopathologically. In an effort to characterize Spitz nevi using dermoscopy, we documented the dermoscopic features of a single pigmented Spitz nevus over a 6-month period. A 3-year-old boy had a brownish black papule, 3 mm in diameter, on the dorsum of the first finger of his left hand, clinically diagnosed as a Reed nevus. Two follow-up examinations were performed after 3 and 6 months, when the lesion finally was excised for histopathologic examination. Dermoscopically, a globular pattern was recognized during the initial examination, whereas a starburst pattern was identified 3 months later. After 6 months, a variation of the starburst pattern was still detectable. Based on our observation, the globular and the starburst patterns might be considered different morphologic expressions corresponding to the evolutionary phases of pigmented Spitz nevi.

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