The inflammatory infiltrate of melanocytic nevus

Vol. 55 No. 4, 2014


Angel Fernandez-Flores, Marcela Saeb-Lima

Melanocytic nevi are frequently accompanied by inflammatory cells of different types, in varied amounts and distributed in different patterns. In the current report, we review the knowledge on inflammation seen in different types of melanocytic nevi. As an additional contribution, we studied the lymphocytic inflammatory component of Duperrat nevus, as well as the cytotoxic component of Sutton nevus, two contributions that we have not found in the literature. We conclude that: (a) Duperrat nevus has a mixed inflammatory reaction that includes histiocytes, foreign-body multinucleated giant cells, polymorphonuclears, lymphocytes (predominantly CD4+) and plasma cells (commonly abundant); (b) common melanocytic nevi with reactive inflammatory infiltrate usually show a CD4+ predominant population; (c) Meyerson nevus commonly shows an inflammatory infiltrate mainly made up of CD4+ T-cells; (d) Sutton nevus with halo phenomenon is accompanied by a dense inflammatory infiltrate with lymphocytes in a CD4:CD8 ratio varying from 1:1 to 1:3 and in which most of the CD8+ T-cells do not express cytotoxic markers; (e) Wiesner nevus commonly shows a spare lymphocytic infiltrate but the nature of the infiltrate has not yet been investigated.

Corresponding author: Angel Fernandez-Flores, MD, PhD; e-mail:

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