JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Age- and site-specific variation in the dermoscopic patterns of congenital melanocytic nevi: an aid to accurate classification and assessment of melanocytic nevi.

OBJECTIVES: To describe the dermoscopic features of congenital melanocytic nevi (CMN) and assess whether predominant dermoscopic patterns present in CMN are related to an individual's age (<12 years vs >or=12 years), sex, or lesional site (head, neck, and trunk vs extremities).

DESIGN: Nonrandomized observational study.

PATIENTS: A total of 77 consecutive patients, each with 1 CMN (n = 77 lesions), from an outpatient dermatology clinic. A diagnosis of CMN was established by (1) documentation of a melanocytic nevus during the first year of life or (2) by clinical examination and either clinical history or biopsy findings.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Images of CMN were evaluated for specific dermoscopic structures and patterns. The distribution of patterns was assessed by age, sex, and lesional site.

RESULTS: Most of the 77 lesions exhibited 1 of the following predominant dermoscopic patterns: reticular (18 lesions [23%]), globular (14 [18%]), or reticuloglobular (12 [16%]). Globular CMN were present in 5 of the 19 individuals who were younger than 12 years (26%) but in only 9 of the 58 individuals 12 years or older (16%). Reticular CMN were seen exclusively in the individuals who were 12 years or older. Congenital melanocytic nevi exhibiting no predominant pattern were more commonly present in the individuals younger than 12 years. Globular CMN were present in 11 head, neck, and trunk lesions (30%) compared with 3 extremity lesions (8%). Conversely, reticular CMN were present in 16 extremity lesions (40%) compared with 2 head, neck, and trunk lesions (5%). The predominant dermoscopic pattern did not vary based on sex. The most commonly observed dermoscopic structures were globules (in 64 lesions [83%]), hypertrichosis (in 61 [79%]), and reticular networks (in 55 [71%]).

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that the predominant dermoscopic patterns of CMN vary according to age and lesional site. These differences may inform future studies on the pathogenesis of CMN.

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