Spitz nevus in a hispanic population: A clinicopathological study of 130 cases

Alma C. Berlingeri-Ramos, Adisbeth Morales-Burgos, Jorge L. Sánchez, Elena M. Nogales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Spitz nevus is an uncommon melanocytic nevus distinctive by its epithelioid and spindled melanocytes. Many studies have attempted to characterize Spitz nevus, but none of them in a Hispanic population. Our aim is to characterize the clinical and histopathological presentation of the Spitz nevus in a Hispanic population. A retrospective study was carried out from our files that included those cases histopathologically diagnosed as Spitz nevus. A blinded examination was performed to evaluate the histopathological characteristics of 130 lesions. The demographics of the patients, the anatomic location, and the accuracy of the clinical diagnosis were analyzed. Eighty-one females and 49 males (ratio of 1.7:1) were included in the study. The mean age was 18.8 years. Overall, the most common location was the lower extremities (41%), followed by the upper extremities (27%), trunk (16%), and head and neck (16%). The nevi followed a similar anatomic distribution in females and males. The lesions were clinically diagnosed with accuracy in 20% of the cases and characterized as a pigmented papule in 42% of the cases. Upon histopathological evaluation, most nevi exhibited symmetry (84%), were well circumscribed (91%), and exhibited epidermal hyperplasia (69%). The junctional type was seen in 42% of the cases, the compound type in 38%, and the dermal type in 20%. Sixty-eight percent of nevi were mostly composed of epithelioid melanocytes, the spindled-shaped melanocytes predominated in 17% of cases, and 12% were composed of both epithelioid and spindled-shaped melanocytes. Multinucleated melanocytes were seen in 7% of nevi, mostly in the epithelioid Spitz nevus (67%). Abundant melanin was observed in 51 cases, from which the most common variant was the classic Spitz nevi. The typical dull eosinophilic globules (Kamino bodies) were observed in a minority of the cases (11%), mostly in the classic Spitz nevus. The most common variant was the classic Spitz nevus (65%), followed by the dermal Spitz nevus (15%). In conclusion, Spitz nevus in a Hispanic population most commonly presents as a pigmented papule on the lower extremities irrespective of sex and age. It is characterized by a melanocytic proliferation most commonly composed of nested epithelioid melanocytes in a junctional or compound arrangement, with the presence of abundant melanin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-275
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Dermatopathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Epithelioid and spindle cell nevus
  • Hispanic population
  • Histopathology
  • Spitz nevus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Dermatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Spitz nevus in a hispanic population: A clinicopathological study of 130 cases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this