The spectrum of minimal deviation melanoma: a clinicopathologic study of 21 cases

Hum Pathol. 1986 Aug;17(8):796-806. doi: 10.1016/s0046-8177(86)80199-x.


A retrospective study of 21 patients with the histopathologic diagnosis of minimal deviation melanoma (MDM; n = 18) and borderline melanoma (BM; n = 3) was undertaken to determine the prognosis for these patients compared with that for patients with other types of malignant melanoma. The findings indicate that the prognosis for these uncommon nevomelanocytic tumors is somewhat better than that for other malignant melanomas. Follow-up periods in this series ranged from 18 to 96 months (mean, 57 months). Primary lesions ranged in thickness from 1.6 to 10.4 mm. The histopathologic subtypes included the Spitz variant (nine patients), the spindle cell variant (six patients), the combined spindle and epithelioid cell type (three patients), and the small epithelioid cell type (three patients). Only two of the patients died of widespread metastatic disease. Comparison of the histologic and clinical prognostic indicators of mortality in patients who have malignant melanoma with the clinical and pathologic features seen in this series of 21 patients would appear to indicate a diminished tendency toward metastatic or recurrent disease in patients with MDM and BM.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / classification
  • Melanoma / mortality
  • Melanoma / pathology*
  • Melanoma / secondary
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies