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Evaluation of MITF, SOX10, MART-1, and R21 Immunostaining for the Diagnosis of Residual Melanoma In Situ on Chronically Sun-Damaged Skin

Mu, Euphemia W., MD*,†; Quatrano, Nicola A., MD†,‡; Yagerman, Sarah E., MD; Ratner, Desiree, MD*; Meehan, Shane A., MD†,§

doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000001493
Original Article

BACKGROUND Melanocytic immunostains can assist in margin evaluation of melanoma in situ (MIS) excisions; however, their accuracy and reliability relative to hematoxylin & eosin (H&E) is yet to be determined.

OBJECTIVE The objective of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity, specificity, and concordance of 4 melanocyte-specific immunostains for diagnosing MIS occurring on chronically sun-damaged skin.

MATERIALS AND METHODS Serial permanent sections from representative areas of negative margin and residual tumor were stained using H&E, MITF, MART-1, SOX10, and R21 and examined in a blinded fashion. The study set included 100 digital microscopy images from 10 cases of MIS excisions from the face. Two board-certified dermatopathologists, 4 fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons, 2 Mohs fellows, and 2 dermatology residents independently reviewed the 100 images.

RESULTS The average melanocyte density was 11 versus 28 melanocytes per 0.5 mm for chronically sun-damaged skin versus residual MIS on H&E, respectively. Statistically significantly higher melanocyte densities were observed using MITF, MART-1, and SOX10 on negative margins. The sensitivity and interobserver concordance was highest using MITF and SOX10. The intraobserver agreement on 4 duplicate images was 85%.

CONCLUSION In conclusion, the nuclear immunostains (MITF and SOX10) show the most promise for improving the diagnosis of MIS in chronically sun-damaged skin.

*Mount Sinai Beth Israel Dermatologic Oncology, New York, New York;

The Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York;

SkinCare Physicians, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts;

§Department of Pathology, Dermatopathology Section, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Shane A. Meehan, MD, Department of Pathology, Dermatopathology Section, New York University School of Medicine, 240 E. 38th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10016, or e-mail:

The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

IRB approval status: reviewed by the New York University School of Medicine's Institutional Review Board, Study #s16-01701.

© 2018 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
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