Sentinel lymph node biopsy in atypical Spitz nevi: Is it useful?

C. Caracò, N. Mozzillo, G. Di Monta, G. Botti, A. M. Anniciello, U. Marone, M. L. Di Cecilia, S. Staibano, G. De Rosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of lymph node metastases in patients with atypical Spitz nevi (ASN) after sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) and during follow-up, and to assess the diagnostic value of the surgical procedure. Methods: At the National Cancer Institute of Naples, Italy, 40 patients with ASN underwent SLNB between 2003 and 2011. Medical records were reviewed and all slides of the primary tumours were retrieved, rendered separately, and assessed by four experienced dermatopathologists from two different academic institutions. Each member of the review panel assessed slides separately without recourse to medical notes and blinded to each others' diagnosis. All patients were treated with wide local excision and SLN biopsy according to the standard procedure. All cases were followed up to assess outcomes. Results: The original diagnosis of ASN was confirmed in all 40 cases. No sentinel node positivity was recorded, and no patients developed nodal involvement during a median follow-up of 46 months (range 16-103). All patients were alive and without evidence of locoregional or distant relapse at time of review. Conclusions: In our experience, ASN were not associated with metastatic potential. Surgical staging procedures are not justified and careful clinical surveillance is adequate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)932-935
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • Atypical Spitz nevi
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy
  • Spitzoid melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Surgery


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