Dysplastic nevi have been a subject of much debate since their original description in 1978. Although some question the biological potential of dysplastic nevi themselves, several studies have shown that their presence confers substantial risk for melanoma. In addition to predisposing patients to melanoma, dysplastic nevi have been shown to harbor genetic mutations, indicating their position on a continuum between banal nevi and melanomas. Dysplastic nevi are also clinically relevant as mimickers of melanoma, and can be challenging diagnostically. This article reviews the history, epidemiology, biology and genetics, clinical features, histopathologic features, and management guidelines for patients with these lesions.
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