OBSERVATIONAL STUDY
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Congenital melanocytic nevus: two clinicopathological forms.

Congenital melanocytic nevus (CMN) is a hamartomatous disease for which many attempts at classification have been proposed. This disease is relevant not only because of its functional and esthetic implications but also because it is a well-documented precursor to malignant melanoma. We performed a clinical and pathological prospective study of 200 cases of CMN and were able to identify 2 different forms of CMN, each one with biological, clinical, and histopathological features and criteria that are consistent and repeatable. We propose to name them types I and II. Type I CMN is the most common, usually, if not always, a single lesion, it consists of a plaque that involves only 1 anatomic region and does not go beyond it; type I CNM grows in proportion to the growth of the child, melanoma rarely develops from it, and when it does it usually arises at the dermoepidermal junction. Its histopathology shows cords, strands, nests, and single units of melanocytes spreading between collagen bundles only in the dermis and frequently the epidermis too, but without trespassing to the hypodermis, that is, it is superficial. Type II CMN is always made up of many lesions, one of them being very large and surrounded by many lesions; histopathologically, it involves not only the skin but also deeper structures, sometimes bone and central nervous system; therefore, it is deep; when melanoma develops, it does in the dermal component and usually from the largest plaque. This type of CMN is the one that develops neurocutaneous melanocytosis. This system is not only easy and logical but it also has biologic advantages and the clinical-pathological correlation and criteria are repeatable by clinicians and pathologists.

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