Immunostain use in the diagnosis of melanomas referred to a tertiary medical center: a 15-year retrospective review (2001–2015)

Randie H. Kim, Shane A. Meehan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Little is known regarding the clinical practice of immunohistochemistry in the diagnosis of melanoma. We aimed to assess the incidence of immunostain usage by referring pathologists and dermatopathologists in melanoma cases sent for consultative review. As a secondary objective, associations between immunostain use and specific melanoma characteristics were also evaluated. Methods: This is a retrospective review of consultation reports of referred melanomas at a tertiary academic center in New York, NY from 2001 to 2015. Univariate regression analysis was performed on melanomas with accompanying immunostains and on characteristics such as Breslow's depth, location, prognostic factors and morphologic subtypes. Associations between immunostain usage and these characteristics were analyzed using Fisher's exact test. Results: Immunostain use significantly increased over the study period (p < 0.001) and was more likely to be associated with melanomas that were thicker [odds ratio (OR) = 2.5; 1.7–3.6]; located on the head and neck (OR = 1.6; 1.4–1.9) or acral sites (OR = 1.5; 1.1–2.0); had ulceration (OR = 2.1; 1.6–2.8), dermal mitoses (OR = 1.3; 1.1–1.5), or perineural invasion (OR = 3.6; 2.0–6.5); or were of desmoplastic (OR = 7.4; 4.5–12), amelanotic (OR = 7.1; 3.6–14), or nevoid subtypes (OR = 4.0; 1.7–8.9). Conclusions: Immunostain use in the diagnosis of melanoma has increased significantly in the past 15 years for reasons that remain unclear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-227
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cutaneous Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • dermatopathology
  • epidemiology
  • immunohistochemistry
  • melanoma
  • practice trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Dermatology


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