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Abstract

Background

Melanocytic nevi are well-known, important precursors of melanoma among children and adults. The adolescence period is an important period for nevi formation and evolution. This study provides data of a longitudinal study of nevi in a Hispanic adolescent population.

Materials and methods

A cross-sectional survey and 1-year prospective follow-up study was performed on Hispanic students from grades 6 and 7 at a school in Caguas, Puerto Rico (= 90). The survey was completed by the students and one of their parents. The backs of the children were clinically examined for melanocytic nevi using digital photography and dermoscopy. Follow-up was conducted one year later.

Results

The study cohort consisted of 53 (59%) boys and 37 (41%) girls, with an average age of 11.9 years (range 11–13 years). At the beginning of the study, 85% (= 71/90) of the students presented with melanocytic nevi on their backs. After one year, new nevi were identified in 62% (= 44/71), and there was a mean increase in nevus count of 1.8 (P < 0.001). A trend toward increased nevus count in lighter skin types was observed (P < 0.001). The predominant dermoscopic pattern was reticular (44%). The globular pattern was found most commonly in children with skin-type II (100%), while the reticular pattern was the most common among skin-types III (32%), IV (56%), and V (45%).

Conclusions

This study supports the utility of digital photography and dermoscopy for the evaluation of melanocytic nevi, providing evidence of the interrelationship between nevus count, dermoscopic pattern, and skin phenotype.