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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008 Nov;59(5):814-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2008.07.020.

Sampling of melanocytic nevi for research purposes: a prospective, pilot study to determine effect on diagnosis.

Author information

1
The Melanoma Program, Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84132, USA. scott@derm.med.utah.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Research on melanocytic nevi predominantly utilizes formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue, largely limiting research to morphologic and immunohistochemical observations. Withholding portions of fresh nevus tissue for molecular studies could result in the loss of important diagnostic material.

OBJECTIVE:

This study prospectively evaluated melanocytic nevi for histologic homogeneity to determine if using a portion for research would have affected diagnosis.

METHODS:

Thirty-three subjects were enrolled in a prospective study in which pigmented lesions were chosen for biopsy on a clinical basis. Lesions were sectioned and each piece submitted in a separate block (mean, 2.7; range 2-5 blocks per lesion). Slides from nevi were examined in two phases. In phase I, sections of nevi were randomized and a diagnosis was rendered for each section of nevus. In phase II, the dermatopathologist reviewed all slides for each nevus as a case, similar to the original interpretation of the lesion provided to the clinician. Diagnoses from phases I and II were compared with the original diagnosis.

RESULTS:

Case material included 51 melanocytic lesions from 31 subjects. The phase I diagnosis matched the original diagnosis for 99 of 121 slides that showed a melanocytic lesion (82%). The phase II diagnosis matched the original diagnosis for 45 of 51 specimens (88%).

LIMITATIONS:

The study was limited by: a small number of specimens; the clinician could have chosen clinically homogeneous nevi for biopsy; effect of interobserver and intraobserver variability on diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS:

For the majority of melanocytic nevi in this study, the diagnostic information present in one section of a melanocytic nevus could be extrapolated to the remainder of the specimen without adverse consequences from a diagnostic or therapeutic perspective.

PMID:
19119097
DOI:
10.1016/j.jaad.2008.07.020
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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