Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Desmoplasia has been described in melanoma and Spitz naevus but not in giant congenital melanocytic naevus (GCMN). In melanoma desmoplasia is associated with a better survival. Four paediatric patients with hard, ligneous, progressively hypopigmented and alopecic GCMN were seen among 143 cases of GCMN at the Department of Dermatology of the National Institute of Paediatrics, Mexico City. Clinically, induration was progressive in three patients and regressive in one. Pigmentation was regressive in all. Histopathologically, all four patients showed intense dermal fibrosis, scarce naevus cells, and hypotrophic or absent hair follicles. Follow-up and serial biopsies in three patients documented the progressive nature of fibrosis and naevus cell depletion. No evidence of malignant transformation was found. Naevus cell depletion resulted in pigment loss and may have reduced the risk of malignant transformation. Although the cause of fibrosis is unknown, the possibility of an immune reaction to naevus cells is postulated.
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