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Wayne State University Medical School

Training Level

Medical Student


Wayne State University


In the monitoring of patients who have had metastatic melanoma, repeat skin exams at specific intervals is a crucial screening tool to prevent recurrence. At many of these visits, suspicious melanocytic lesions are biopsied to determine if they represent a return of the patient’s melanoma. Here, we present a case of a suspicious atypical melanocytic nevus discovered during a skin exam following diagnosis of metastatic melanoma to a lymph node from an unknown primary lesion. To determine whether this lesion was melanoma, p16 immunohistochemical staining was performed of both the lymph node biopsy and the nevus, and provided a reliable means for determining the nature of the nevus. This information would be helpful to readers who care for patients with a history of melanoma who require differentiation of atypical nevi from recurrence of melanoma.

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p-16: immunohistochemical staining to differentiate an inflamed atypical nevus