Dermoscopy Patterns of Halo Nevi
Archives of Dermatology
Halo nevi (HN) are benign melanocytic nevi surrounded by a depigmented area (halo). This study aims to evaluate the dermoscopic features of HN and their changes during digital dermoscopic follow-up and to investigate the frequency of the halo phenomenon in a series of melanomas. Observations: In a retrospective study, digital dermoscopic images of HN from patients who attended the Pigmented Skin Lesions Clinic of the Department of Dermatology, Medical University of Graz, between October 1,
... and March 31, 2004, were reviewed and classified by dermoscopic morphologic criteria. For HN that were followed up with digital dermoscopy, the percentages of changes in the size of the nevus and halo components were calculated. In addition, digital dermoscopic images of histopathologically confirmed melanomas obtained from the same database were reviewed for the presence of an encircling halolike depigmentation. We classified 138 HN in 87 patients (mean age, 22.4 years). The most common dermoscopic structures were the globular and/or homogeneous patterns in more than 80% of HN. Follow-up of 33 HN revealed considerable size reduction of the nevus component, but this was not associated with significant structural changes. Of a total of 475 melanomas, only 2 revealed an encircling halo, but both displayed clear-cut melanoma-specific patterns according to dermoscopy. Conclusions: Halo nevi exhibit the characteristic dermoscopic features of benign melanocytic nevi, represented by globular and/or homogeneous patterns that are typically observed in children and young adults. Halo nevi reveal considerable changes of area over time during digital dermoscopic follow-up, albeit their structural patterns remain unchanged. For this reason and because melanoma with halolike depigmentation, despite being rare, additionally exhibits melanoma-specific dermoscopic criteria, the role of digital dermoscopic follow-up in the diagnosis of HN is insignificant.