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Investigative Report

Negative Pigment Network Identifies a Peculiar Melanoma Subtype and Represents a Clue to Melanoma Diagnosis: A Dermoscopic Study of 401 Melanomas

doi: 10.2340/00015555-1588


The dermoscopic descriptor ”negative pigment network” (NPN) has been reported in several types of melanocytic and non-melanocytic lesions, although it has a higher frequency of association with melanoma and Spitz naevus. In a study of 401 consecutive melanomas, excluding facial, acral and mucosal locations, the frequency and variability of NPN were investigated, and the results of NPN correlated with clinical and histopathological data. NPN of any extention was found in 27% of melanomas, most frequently invasive and arising from a naevus on the trunk of young subjects. Seven percent of melanomas in the study population showed presence of NPN in more than half of the lesion area; most of these did not show typical dermoscopic melanoma features. The authors propose a new melanoma subtype, in which extensive NPN should be considered as a diagnostic indicator.


Sara Bassoli, Chiara Ferrari, Stefania Borsari, Francesca Giusti, Cristina Magnoni, Giovanni Pellacani, Stefania Seidenari
Department of Dermatology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, IT-41124 Modena, Italy. E-mail:


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Volume 93, Issue 6

DOI: 10.2340/00015555-1588

Pages: 650-655

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