Dysplastic nevi and melanoma

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 Apr;22(4):528-32. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-12-1346.


Dysplastic nevi are described as being on a continuum between common acquired nevi and melanoma because they are morphologically and biologically intermediate between these 2 entities. Since initially being reported as histologic lesions observed in melanoma-prone families, there has been considerable debate about the definition of dysplastic nevi, the histologic and clinical criteria used to define them, and their biologic importance. Their role as precursor lesions for melanoma is not their primary role in their relationship to melanoma because of the rarity of transformation of any individual nevus to a melanoma. Although there is still no single, universally agreed upon histologic or clinical definition or even name for these nevi, dysplastic nevi should be considered important because of their association with an increased risk for melanoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Progression
  • Dysplastic Nevus Syndrome / etiology*
  • Dysplastic Nevus Syndrome / pathology
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / etiology*
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Risk Factors