The inadequacy of punch-excised melanocytic lesions: Sampling through the block for the determination of "margins"

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Abstract

Background: Dermatopathologists often are asked by clinicians to report margins on punch excisions of melanocytic lesions. Objective: We sought to determine the adequacy of surgical margins on melanocytic lesions submitted with intention of complete excision using punch removal technique. Methods: We conducted prospective analysis of surgical margins on 266 consecutive patients who underwent attempted complete removal of 405 melanocytic nevi submitted as punch and fusiform excisions. Results: Of 206 nonbisected punch excisions, 127 (62%) had final positive margins. Of 159 bisected punch excisions, 76 (48%) had final positive margins. Of 40 elliptical excisions, two (5%) had final positive margins. Limitations: Information on the perilesional rim of nonpigmented skin included in the excision was not available. Conclusions: Of punch excisions, 56% had positive margins. Importantly, 30% of these punch excised specimens were negative on initial levels but had positive margins after extensive sectioning, affirming that fusiform excisions are the preferred method to evaluate margins in melanocytic lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)990-993
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume60
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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Chang, T. T., Somach, S. C., Wagamon, K., Somani, A. K., Pomeranz, J., Jaworsky, C., Bass, J., Winfield, H. L., Sigel, J. E., & Rosenberg, A. S. (2009). The inadequacy of punch-excised melanocytic lesions: Sampling through the block for the determination of "margins". Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 60(6), 990-993. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2008.09.037