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Dermatopathology: Practical & Conceptual April - June 2008
5. New Heights: “Animal-type” melanoma and entities related to it (Part I): Evolution of a concept
François Milette, M.D.
A. Bernard Ackerman, M.D.
Contents of Part I
I. Melanosis in horses and men? (Dick, 1832)
II. A précis of equine melanotic disease (Levene, 1971)
III. Melanoma arising in “blue nevi”? (Darier, 1925)
IV. Diffuse mesodermal pigmentation? (Carleton and Biggs, 1948)
V. Melanotic disorders in horses and men? (Levene, 1979)
VI. Pilar neurocristic hamartoma? (Tuthill, Clark, and Levene, 1982)
VII. Malignant melanoma arising in a blue nevus? (Pathy, Helm, Elston, Bergfeld and Tuthill, 1993)
VIII. Cutaneous malignant melanotic neurocristic tumor arising in neurocristic hamartoma? (Pearson, Weiss, Headington, 1996)
IX. Malignant melanoma with prominent pigment synthesis: “Animal-type melanoma”? (Crowson, Magro, Mihm, 1999)
X. Animal type melanoma? (Requena, de la Cruz, Moreno, Sangueza, Requena, 2001)
XI. Animal-type melanoma? (Kazakov, Rütten, Kempf, Michal, 2004)
XII. In the textbooks?
XIII. Melanomas in horses as described in veterinary medicine literature? (Valentine, 1995; Seltenhammer, 2004)
"Animal-type melanoma," "pigmented epithelioid melanocytoma," and "epithelioid blue nevus" are melanocytic proliferations typified by intense pigmentation. Diagnosis of such lesions may be challenging because of lack of criteria on one hand and because of conceptual difficulties on the other.
Critical explanation or interpretation of texts about animal-type melanoma and entities related to it.
Review of the literature in two parts and presentation of own examples of markedly pigmented melanocytic lesions in a third part of a series of articles.
In this first part, the origin of the idea of "animal-type melanoma" is presented and followed to the point where a new "paradigm" is introduced in which benign and malignant lesions become "indistinguishable."
Our review demonstrates that the subject of animal-type melanoma is simply incomprehensible. The second part of this review will address the literature pertaining to "pigmented epithelioid melanocytoma" and "epithelioid blue nevus," followed by a third part presenting various cases of "deeply pigmented" melanocytic lesions together with criteria to assess these very challenging lesions.
François Milette, M.D., is a pathologist at Centre Hospitalier Pierre-Boucher in Longueuil, Canada, A. Bernard Ackerman is Director Emeritus of the Ackerman Academy of Dermatopathology in New York City, United States. This article is part of a solicited contribution and was reviewed by the editor-in-chief. Contact author via e-mail:
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