Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Balloon Cell Nevus in a 13-Year-Old Girl

Clinical and Histopathologic Features

Wolkow, Natalie M.D., Ph.D.*,†; Freitag, Suzanne K. M.D.*

Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery: September/October 2019 - Volume 35 - Issue 5 - p e125
doi: 10.1097/IOP.0000000000001340
OPRS Images
Free

*Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery Service, Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

David G Cogan Laboratory of Ophthalmic Pathology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Accepted for publication January 19, 2019.

The authors have no financial or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Suzanne K. Freitag, M.D., 243 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114. E-mail:suzanne_freitag@meei.harvard.edu

Balloon cell nevi are rare variants of nevocellular nevi in which greater than 50% of nevus cells are large and foamy. They are most common in patients under age 30, affecting males and females equally when found in skin. The balloon changes are attributed to defects in melanogenesis that lead to malformed premelanosomes and degenerative changes. Clinically they are indistinguishable from more common nevi. Care needs to be taken in assessing for nuclear atypia in melanocytic lesions with balloon cells as some melanomas may display balloon cell changes.

© 2019 by The American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Inc., All rights reserved.