Atypical intraepidermal melanocytic proliferation (AIMP) is a general term assigned to melanocytic proliferations of uncertain biological potential when a definitive histopathological diagnosis cannot be achieved. There are few data available describing the possibility of malignancy of AIMP, or ways to further define diagnosis.
To determine the rate of diagnostic change of AIMP to melanoma or melanoma in situ (MIS) after conventional excision. In addition, to determine the role of immunohistochemistry (IHC) in defining AIMP biopsies.
Retrospective cross-sectional, single-center review of biopsies with a diagnosis of AIMP with a follow-up conventional excision from 2012–2016 was performed. In a separate analysis, a search was performed for AIMP biopsied lesions in which IHC was subsequently performed.
The rate of diagnostic change of AIMP to MIS was 4.8% (8/167) after excision. Punch biopsy was a risk factor for diagnostic change to MIS (odds ratio 12.94, confidence interval 2.56–65.38, P = 0.008). The rate of diagnostic change of AIMP biopsies after examining with IHC was 21.3% (34/160) to MIS and 4.4% (7/160) to melanoma.
The possibility of malignancy of AIMP lesions must be taken into consideration when counseling patients and when planning treatment options. IHC is a useful tool and should be used in the evaluation of AIMP specimens.