Desmoplastic melanocytic nevi with lymphocytic aggregates

Maija Ht Kiuru, Rajiv M. Patel, Klaus J. Busam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Desmoplastic melanocytic nevi can be difficult to distinguish from desmoplastic melanoma. The presence of lymphocytic aggregates in association with a sclerosing melanocytic proliferation is commonly regarded as a feature in support of a diagnosis of desmoplastic melanoma. However, the finding is not specific for melanoma. Herein we report six cases of sclerosing melanocytic nevi with associated lymphocytic aggregates. They occurred in five women and one man, ranging in age from 11 to 61 years. Three lesions were sclerosing Spitz nevi; one was an amelanotic sclerosing blue nevus, one an acquired intradermal sclerosing nevus, and one was a congenital compound melanocytic nevus with sclerosis of its dermal component. The lesions were interpreted as benign, i.e. melanocytic nevi, because of their histopathologic attributes (symmetric silhouette, benign cytologic features) and results from immunohistochemical studies (all lesions strongly expressed Melan-A and p16) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Three lesions tested by FISH lacked copy number changes of 11p, 6q or 6p. None of the lesions recurred. The cases highlight that contextual information is essential for the diagnosis of desmoplastic melanoma and sclerosing nevus. The presence of lymphocytic aggregates per se does not prove that a sclerosing melanocytic proliferation is malignant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)940-944
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cutaneous Pathology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • dermatopathology
  • Histology
  • Melan-A
  • melanocytic lesions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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