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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume 42, n° 5P1
pages 731-734 (mai 2000)
Doi : 10.1067/mjd.2000.103981
accepted : 25 October 1999
Amelanotic melanoma: The great masquerader
 

Susan E. Koch, MDa, Julie R. Lange, MDb
Portland, Oregon, and Baltimore, Maryland 
From the Department of Dermatology, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland,a and the Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.b 

Abstract

Background: Cutaneous melanoma is often recognized by its dark color, but some tumors have little or no pigmentation. Objective: We present the clinical findings of 4 cases of primary cutaneous amelanotic melanoma in which the clinical diagnosis was unsuspected and one case of amelanotic metastatic melanoma. Methods: Five cases of melanoma are reviewed. The clinical morphology of the lesions is presented and discussed. We surveyed the literature regarding conditions that mimic amelanotic melanoma, and we discuss the treatment and prognosis for amelanotic melanoma. Results: Amelanotic melanoma may masquerade as a variety of other conditions leading to a delay in the diagnosis or an inappropriate biopsy technique. The prognosis of amelanotic primary tumors is no different from that for its pigmented counterpart. Conclusion: The clinician should be familiar with the presentation of amelanotic melanoma to facilitate prompt diagnosis. (J Am Acad Dermatol 2000;42:731-4.)

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

 Reprint requests: Susan E. Koch, MD, Mail Code CDW1, Oregon Health Sciences University, 745 SW Gaines Rd, Portland, OR 97201-3098.



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