Categorized | Of Interest

Blue nevi acquired in older men, lacked association with melanoma

Source:, May 2014

Blue nevi commonly occurred in older men and usually were not associated with melanoma, according to recent study results

“Our findings support the concept that benign [blue nevi] are not uncommonly acquired in older age individuals and that they may be safely clinically followed in the absence of concerning clinical and/or dermoscopic features,” the researchers said.

Researchers conducted a retrospective review of 204 cases of biopsy-proven blue nevi (BN) in 194 patients (mean age, 62.8 years; 90.7% men) identified between 1991 and 2013 in the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. Clinical duration of 10 years or less was reported by 90.3% of patients for whom data was available (32%).

Seventy-four percent of BN was classified as common in histological subtype, while 1.5% were diagnosed cellular and 24.5%, combined type. Locations included the extremities (45.6%), head and neck (31.3%), and back (17.2%).

While the researchers did not identify any malignant BN, there were 18 primary melanomas diagnosed in 16 patients, including 72.2% before blue nevus biopsy. They included seven (38.9%) in situ and 11 (61.1%) thin invasive melanoma (mean Breslow thickness, 1.02 [0.99] mm).

“This large retrospective case series of predominantly older men at high risk for skin cancer suggests that BN may occur later in life than previously reported and that they do not seem to have increased malignant potential based on age, male sex, and prior or subsequent cutaneous melanoma development,” the researchers concluded. “Larger, population-based studies are necessary to further characterize the incidence and duration of BN in older individuals as well as their association with malignant BN and subsequent development of cutaneous melanoma.”

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