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Syringotropic Melanoma: A Variant of Melanoma With Prominent Involvement of Eccrine Apparatus and Risk of Deep Dermal Invasion

Zembowicz, Artur MD, PhD*; Kafanas, Antonios MD

The American Journal of Dermatopathology: April 2012 - Volume 34 - Issue 2 - p 151–156
doi: 10.1097/DAD.0b013e318227c90d
Original Study

We report 7 cases which can be regarded as a syringotropic melanoma—a unique presentation of melanoma defined as melanoma spreading within the eccrine apparatus into the reticular dermis and/or subcutaneous tissue deeper than any (if present) associated invasive melanoma. Six patients were females, and 1 was a male. Their ages ranged from 32 to 85 years old (average 63). The lesions showed a wide site distribution, occurring on the extremities (4), trunk (2), and head and neck (1). Five melanomas were superficial spreading type; 1 was acral lentiginous type; 1 was unclassified. Four lesions (57%) invaded from within eccrine apparatus at a depth and anatomical level greater than that of an adjacent conventional invasive melanoma arising from the surface epidermis. In 1 lesion, which presented clinically as a pigmented macule, deep dermal syringocentric invasive tumor was the only site of invasion and tumorigenic growth. Thus, this variant of melanoma carries a significant risk of syringocentric deep dermal invasion, which may be unsuspected clinically but must be detected on histological examination to provide the most accurate prognosis and staging information.

* and Department of Pathology, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Boston, MA

Department of Pathology, General Hospital of Serres, Serres, Greece.

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to declare.

Reprints: Artur Zembowicz, MD, PhD, and Department of Pathology, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associated, 6th Floor, 133 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215 (e-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.