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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 60

of 'Atypical (dysplastic) nevi'

Grading of atypia in nevi: correlation with melanoma risk.
Arumi-Uria M, McNutt NS, Finnerty B
Mod Pathol. 2003 Aug;16(8):764-71.
Nevi with architectural disorder and cytologic atypia of melanocytes (NAD), aka "dysplastic nevi," have varying degrees of histologic abnormalities, which can be considered on a spectrum of grades of atypia. Somewhat controversial and subjective criteria have been developed for grading of NAD into three categories "mild," "moderate," and "severe." Grading involves architectural and cytological features, which often correlate with each other. Architectural criteria were intraepidermal junctional extension beyond any dermal component, complex distortion of rete ridges, and dermal fibrosis. Cytological criteria were based on nuclear size, dispersion of chromatin, prominence of nucleoli, hyperchromasia and variation in nuclear staining. Few tests have been made of the relationship between specific grades of atypia and patient risk for melanoma. Retrospective review of pathology reports was performed on 20,275 nevi examined between 1989 and 1996. From the total, 6,275 were diagnosed as NAD, which were in 4,481 patients. These patients were divided into those whose worst NAD was mild (2,504), moderate (1,657), or severe (320). Review of accession data revealed that a personal history of melanoma was present in 5.7% of patients with mild, 8.1% with moderate, and 19.7% with severe atypia. The male/female ratios were similar in each group. In the three groups, the mean ages of men were similar and of women were similar,but the mean age of men tended to be 6-11 yrs. older than women in each group. Family histories of melanoma were not considered. The odds ratio as a measure of association between NAD and personal history of melanoma, shows an odds ratio of 4.08 (2.91-5.7) for NAD-severe versus NAD mild, odds ratio 2.81 (2-3.95) for NAD-severe versus NAD-moderate and odds ratio 1.45 (1.13-1.87) for NAD moderate versus NAD-mild. These data show that the probability of having personal history of melanoma, for any given NAD patient, correlates with the NAD grade. Likewise, the risk of melanoma is greater for persons who tend to make nevi with high grade histological atypia.
Dermatopathology Division, Department of Pathology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, New York 10021, USA.