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(US), nevus
any congenital growth or pigmented blemish on the skin; birthmark or mole
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(mole, birthmark), a congenital malformation of the skin in which some areas differ in color from the rest of the skin and/or have a peculiar warty appearance. Nevi are not confined to any particular area. They can be present at birth or develop during the first few years of life or even later.

Vascular nevi, or hemangiomas, are characterized by varying sizes, uneven edges, and a pink or bluish red color. They become pale when pressed and may be flat, superficial (capillary nevi), or nodular. They are embedded in the thickest part of the skin and have an uneven cavernous surface (cavernous nevi). Verrucoid nevi occur as singular or multiple patches of different shapes, are muddy gray or brown in color, and have an uneven keratotic surface. Pigmented nevi are light brown to almost black in color; they can be the size of a pinhead, or they can cover large areas of the skin. The surfaces of pigmented nevi may be uneven and covered with hair (Becker’s nevi).

Self-treatment of pigmented spots is dangerous because frequent injury may cause them to degenerate into melanomas, whereupon the nevi enlarge, become firmer, and change color. New pigmented spots may appear in the same area, and the regional lymph nodes may become enlarged.

Electrocoagulation, cryotherapy, surgical dissection, and radiotherapy are used to treat nevi.


Shanin, A. P. “Nevusy.” In Mnogotomnoe rukovodstvo po dermatologii, vol. 3. Moscow, 1964.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A lesion containing melanocytes.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
(1) The diagnosis of dysplastic nevus should be made with caution if there is a background of solar elastosis, particularly on the face.
When I have a report from a general pathologist suggesting a potentially worrisome lesion (melanoma, severely dysplastic nevus, [atypical] Spitz nevus), I always suggest to my patients that we get a dermatopathologic second opinion.
Researchers believe that a genetic predisposition for dysplastic nevus syndrome may exist.
* Only one dysplastic nevus puts a person at twice the risk, while those with ten or more are twelve times at risk.
For the intermediate lesions, the group recommended that a reasonable option is to observe a moderately dysplastic nevus site that's been excisionally biopsied with a finding of positive margins, while acknowledging that more data are needed.
Sporadic dysplastic nevus syndrome is a spontaneous mutation that increases the relative risk of malignancy up to 46 times that of the general population, he said.
The ABCDEFs of nail melanoma Letter Meaning: Subungual Meaning: Cutaneous A Age: Peak 5th-7th decades Asymmetry Race: African American, Native American, Asian B Band (nail band): Brown-black Border: Irregular/ Breadth: [greater than or equal to] 3 mm poorly defined Border: Irregular/blurred C Change: Rapid increase in size Color: Varied D Digit involved: Thumb > hallux Diameter: > 6 mm Single digit > multiple digits E Extension of pigment Evolving to involve nail folds (changing) F Family or personal history: Previous Funny looking melanoma or dysplastic nevus syndrome (ugly duckling) Note: Adapted from CA Cancer J Clin.
(12) This risk is highest for partially sampled, broad asymmetric melanocytic lesions, where diagnostic features of melanoma may be missed adjacent to what otherwise appears to be an atypical or dysplastic nevus. The latter point is highlighted by High's admonition to "beware of a partial biopsy" in his article on malpractice in dermatopathology.
Although melanoma sometimes arises within a dysplastic nevus, the melanoma risk extends to normal-appearing skin, so there is no point in trying to prophylactically remove dysplastic nevi, he emphasized.
Long-term surveillance, however, is crucial for agminated blue nevi, especially if the individual has dysplastic nevus syndrome.
Investigators then applied the five-gene classifier to an independent set of tape-stripped specimens to confirm that it can predict whether a lesion is melanoma or a dysplastic nevus. The EGIR tape-stripping method can assay lesions as small as 3 mm.
Dysplastic nevus margins are often positive, "because the melanocytes in these lesions tend to extend up to 2 mm beyond clinical margins," Dr.