The staining pattern of pigmented spindle cell nevi with S100A6 protein

Academic Article


  • Background: Spitz nevi typically show strong diffuse staining with S100A6, whereas staining in melanomas is commonly patchy and weak. To our knowledge, S100A6 has not been studied in pigmented spindle cell nevus (PSCN), considered by many to be a variant of Spitz nevus. Methods: Forty-six archived PSCNs were stained with S100A6 and then categorized by predominant cell size and staining pattern. Results: Eighteen (55%) of the small cell predominant nevi showed patchy staining, eight showed diffuse staining and seven were negative for S100A6. Two predominantly large-celled 'PSCNs' were diffusely positive and had many histopathological attributes of classical Spitz nevi. On review, these two cases were reclassified as Spitz nevi and excluded from the remainder of this study. Of the nevi with mixed cell size, one had no expression of S100A6. In the remaining tumors, the small cells showed patchy staining in eight (80%) and diffuse staining in two (20%). The large cells showed patchy staining in four (40%) and diffuse staining in six (60%). Conclusion: In contrast to the strong diffuse S100A6 staining typical of Spitz nevi, the small spindle cells of PSCN commonly show patchy staining or fail to stain completely. In melanocytic neoplasms composed of small spindle cells, patchy S100A6 staining should not be interpreted as evidence of supporting a diagnosis of melanoma. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
  • Authors

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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Puri PK; Elston CA; Tyler WB; Ferringer TC; Elston DM
  • Start Page

  • 14
  • End Page

  • 17
  • Volume

  • 38
  • Issue

  • 1