Melanoacanthoma simulating pigmented Spitz nevus: An unusual dermoscopy pitfall

Luigi Rossiello, Iris Zalaudek, Gerardo Ferrara, Giovanni Docimo, Caterina M. Giorgio, Giuseppe Argenziano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND: The starburst pattern is the dermoscopic hallmark of pigmented Spitz nevus, although it has been rarely observed in melanoma as well. OBJECTIVE: To describe a case of melanoacanthoma simulating pigmented Spitz nevus. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Clinical, dermoscopic, and histopathologic examinations were performed for the occurrence of a 4-mm pigmented skin lesion on the hip of a 38-year-old Caucasian woman. RESULTS: Dermoscopy examination of the lesion disclosed a stereotypical starburst pattern characterized by pigmented streaks symmetrically distributed at the periphery. A preoperative diagnosis of pigmented Spitz nevus was made, and the lesion was excised. However, subsequent histopathologic examination revealed a melanoacanthoma. CONCLUSION: The starburst pattern, although diagnostic for pigmented Spitz nevus, can be rarely observed in other benign or malignant pigmented skin lesions. Accordingly, all lesions in adults exhibiting a starburst pattern or other spitzoid features should be excised for histopathologic evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-737
Number of pages3
JournalDermatologic Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Surgery

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    Rossiello, L., Zalaudek, I., Ferrara, G., Docimo, G., Giorgio, C. M., & Argenziano, G. (2006). Melanoacanthoma simulating pigmented Spitz nevus: An unusual dermoscopy pitfall. Dermatologic Surgery, 32(5), 735-737.