Differentiation of pigmented Spitz nevi and Reed nevi by integration of dermatopathologic and dermatoscopic findings

Michael Bär, Philipp Tschandl, Harald Kittler
2012 Dermatology Practical & Conceptual  
It is unclear whether pigmented Spitz and Reed nevi are distinct morphologic entities or part of the spectrum of Spitz nevi. Methods: In a retrospective observational study we analyzed dermatopathologic slides of 22 cases with clinical and dermatoscopic features indicative of pigmented Spitz or Reed nevus in a blinded fashion according to predefined criteria and subsequently correlated dermatopathologic with clinical and dermatoscopic findings. Results: We differentiated pigmented Spitz and
more » ... ented Spitz and Reed nevus dermatopathologically by their capacity of melanin production and a vertical versus horizontal growth pattern. Based on histopathology 20 nevi (91%) could be reliably diagnosed as Reed nevus (68%, n=15) or as pigmented Spitz nevus (23%, n=5). In two cases (9%, n=2) it was not possible to make a clear distinction from a dermatopathologic point of view. Dermatopathologic-dermatoscopic correlation showed that Reed nevi were characterized by a dermatoscopic pattern of peripheral radial lines or pseudopods (fascicular growth pattern), whereas pigmented Spitz nevi were typified by a pattern consisting of clods (nested growth pattern). "Spitz cells" (large epithelioid melanocytes) were more commonly found in Spitz nevi (100%, n = 5) but were also present in Reed nevi (n=6, 40%). Spindle cells were found in both types of nevi. Conclusions: Pigmented Spitz and Reed nevi can be reliably distinguished based on their dermatopathologic and dermatoscopic patterns. The specific dermatopathologic patterns of pigmented Spitz and Reed nevi correspond well to their dermatoscopic patterns. The presence of "Spitz cells" or spindle cells should not be regarded as the decisive criterion to differentiate between these two entities. Citation: Bär M, Tschandl P, Kittler H. Differentiation of pigmented Spitz nevi and Reed nevi by integration of dermatopathologic and dermatoscopic findings. Dermatol Pract Conc. 2012;2(1):3. http://dx.doi.org/10.5826/dpc.0201a03.
doi:10.5826/dpc.0201a03 fatcat:lbai5vju2vavbftgb5mamzf7gq