The "dysplastic" nevus

Clin Dermatol. 2009 Jan-Feb;27(1):103-15. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2008.09.008.


Dysplastic nevi have become an increasing focus clinically, with evidence that they are associated with a higher risk of developing melanoma. However, there still is contention regarding the significance of dysplastic nevi. This contribution provides an overview of the history, epidemiology, genetics, clinical and histologic features, and procedures for clinical management of dysplastic nevi. Since dysplastic nevi were described originally in 1978, a great deal of research has examined the epidemiology of these lesions and the genetic factors related to the development of dysplastic nevi. However, there is disagreement regarding the clinical management of dysplastic nevi and the histologic definition of dysplastic nevi. Current recommendations include preventative measures, such as sun protection and careful surveillance and biopsies of suspicious lesions as needed. The advent of new technologies, such as computer-vision systems, have the potential to significantly change treatment of dysplastic nevi in the future.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dysplastic Nevus Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Dysplastic Nevus Syndrome* / etiology
  • Dysplastic Nevus Syndrome* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology