Histologic classification of the combined nevus. Analysis of the variable expression of melanocytic nevi

Am J Surg Pathol. 1991 Dec;15(12):1111-22. doi: 10.1097/00000478-199112000-00001.


The designation combined nevus gives recognition to mixed cytologic patterns. In the common variant, plump, pigmented spindle cells form fascicles among nests of ordinary nevus cells. In other variants, one or several cellular components that share cytologic features with either a blue nevus or a Spitz nevus are represented. Ninety-five cases, 49% of which were of the common type, were studied. Grossly, most of the lesions were darkly pigmented papules or nodules. The clinical diagnosis in three-fourths of the cases was nevus, blue nevus, or melanoma. Fifteen percent had concomitant histologic features of melanocytic dysplasia, and most of these lesions were of the common type. For the common variant, the cytologic features, pattern of apparent infiltration, and variable representation of the features of a premalignant melanocytic dysplasia often mislead a pathologist in interpreting and predicting biologic potential. In combined nevi, the phenotypic diversity and genetic lability of melanocytic nevus cells is manifested.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dysplastic Nevus Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Dysplastic Nevus Syndrome / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanocytes
  • Melanoma / diagnosis
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Nevus / diagnosis
  • Nevus / pathology*
  • Nevus, Pigmented / diagnosis
  • Nevus, Pigmented / pathology*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*