Br J Dermatol 2018 09 21;179(3):590-598. Epub 2018 Jun 21.
Department of Dermatology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, U.S.A.
Background: The management of histologically dysplastic naevi (HDN) with re-excision vs. observation remains controversial because of lack of evidence about associated melanoma outcomes.
Objectives: To assess published data on the development of biopsy-site primary cutaneous melanoma among biopsy-proven HDN managed with either re-excision or observation.
Methods: A systematic review of all published data: a total of 5293 records were screened, 18 articles were assessed in full text and 12 studies met inclusion criteria. No controlled trials were identified.
Results: Most studies (11 of 12, 92%) were retrospective chart reviews, and one was both a cross-sectional and cohort study. Many studies (nine of 12, 75%) had no head-to-head comparison groups and either only reported HDN that were re-excised or observed. A total of 2673 (1535 observed vs. 1138 re-excised) HDN of various grades were included. Follow-up varied between 2 weeks and 30 years. Nine studies reported that no melanomas developed. Eleven biopsy-site melanomas developed across three of the studies, six among observed lesions (0·39%) and five among re-excised lesions (0·44%).
Conclusions: Based upon the available evidence the rates of biopsy-site primary melanoma were similarly low among observed lesions and re-excised lesions. This suggests that HDNs can be observed with minimal adverse melanoma-associated outcomes. However, all included articles were of low quality and further prospective trials could better guide clinical decision making.