Instrument-, age- and site-dependent variations of dermoscopic patterns of congenital melanocytic naevi: A multicentre study

S. Seidenari, G. Pellacani, A. Martella, F. Giusti, G. Argenziano, P. Buccini, P. Carli, C. Catricalà, V. De Giorgi, A. Ferrari, V. Ingordo, A. M. Manganoni, K. Peris, D. Piccolo, M. A. Pizzichetta

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Background: Recently, we identified and described dermoscopic aspects, present with a higher frequency in congenital melanocytic lesions with respect to acquired naevi. We also classified small- and medium-sized congenital naevi (CN) into nine subtypes according to their macroscopic and dermoscopic aspects. Objectives: Because the recognition of dermoscopic features may be instrument dependent, in this study, we wanted to check whether dermoscopic patterns specific for CN can be identified in digital images acquired by means of different instruments. We also wanted to check the validity of our previously proposed classification and assess possible age- and site-dependent variations of dermoscopic patterns and naevus subtypes. Patients/methods: Images corresponding to 384 small- or medium-sized CN were collected in eight different centres employing four different instruments. Lesion images were evaluated and checked for the presence of specific dermoscopic criteria, classified, and compared with a database of 350 acquired naevi. Results: Specific and unspecific dermoscopic features were identifiable in images acquired by means of all four instrument types. The mean number of identified features per lesion did not vary according to the instrument employed for the acquisition of the images; however, it was lower for lesions recorded employing low magnifications. The previously proposed classification was easily applied to the whole image database. The variegated naevus type was identified as a highly specific clinical/dermoscopic pattern. Dermoscopic features varied according to age and location. The globular type prevailed in subjects under 11 years of age and on the trunk, whereas the majority of reticular lesions were located on the limbs. Conclusions: Because definite clinical and histological criteria for the diagnosis of the congenital nature of naevi are lacking, the use of dermoscopy can be of great help in identifying those lesions where the presence of specific dermoscopic features makes the diagnosis of CN more likely. Moreover, dermoscopy can be useful both for the classification of lesions already identified as congenital according to definite clinical and anamnestic data and for a possible correlation of naevus phenotype and dermoscopic patterns to the risk of developing a malignant melanoma in prospective studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-61
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006


  • Congenital naevi
  • Dermoscopy
  • Melanocytic naevi
  • Videomicroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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