Growth-Curve Modeling of Nevi With a Peripheral Globular Pattern

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Although nevi with a peripheral rim of globules (peripheral globular nevi [PGN]) observed with dermoscopy are associated with enlarging melanocytic nevi, their actual growth dynamics remain unknown. Because change is a sensitive but nonspecific marker for melanoma, beginning to understand the growth patterns of nevi may improve the ability of physicians to differentiate normal from abnormal growth and reduce unnecessary biopsies.


To study the growth dynamics and morphologic evolution of PGN on dermoscopy.

Design, Setting, and Participants

A total of 84 participants with 121 PGN from September 1, 1999, through May 1, 2013, were identified retrospectively. Cohorts were recruited from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Melanoma Unit of the Hospital Clinic, University of Barcelona; and Study of Nevi in Children. All 3 cohorts underwent longitudinal monitoring with serial dermoscopic imaging of their PGN. Data analysis was performed from May 1, 2014, through April 1, 2015.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Establishment of the natural growth curve of PGN. The secondary aim was to establish the median time to growth cessation in those PGN for which the size eventually stabilized and/or had begun to decrease during the study period.


The median duration of follow-up was 25.1 (range, 2.0-114.4) months. Most of the nevi (116 [95.9%]) enlarged at some point during sequential monitoring. The rate of increase in the surface area of PGN varied among cohorts and ranged from −0.47 to 2.26 mm2/mo (mean rate, 0.25 [95% CI, 0.14-0.36] mm2/mo). The median time to growth cessation in the 26 PGN that stabilized or decreased in size (21.5%) was 58.6 months. All lesions changed in a symmetric manner and 91 (75.2%) displayed a decrease in the density of peripheral globules over time.

Conclusions and Relevance

Nevi displaying a peripheral globular pattern enlarged symmetrically with apparent growth cessation occurring during a span of 4 to 5 years. Our results reiterate the important concept that not all growth is associated with malignancy.

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