Skin melanocytic tumor
Topics to be merged
Compound nevus

Topic Completed: 1 March 2013

Minor changes: 3 November 2020

Copyright: 2003-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: compound nevus[title]

Christopher S. Hale, M.D.
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Cite this page: Hale CS. Compound nevus. website. Accessed March 4th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Features of both junctional and intradermal nevi (i.e. epidermal and dermal components)
  • Compound = junctional AND intradermal components
  • Do not confuse with combined nevus
Clinical features
  • Elevated or dome shaped
  • Less pigmented than junctional nevi
  • Only rarely undergoes malignant transformation
  • Nevogenesis may be due to ultraviolet light (Am J Dermatopathol 2005;27:456)
Clinical images

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nevus suspicious
for melanoma

Case reports
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Features of both junctional and intradermal nevi (i.e. epidermal and dermal components)
  • Junctional component is similar to junctional nevus, with nests regularly distributed at bases of rete ridges, occasional lentiginous pattern, no pagetoid spread, no atypia, symmetry diminishes with patient age
  • Dermal component consists of nests (may be very large) or linear pattern of melanocytes, cells are small with scant cytoplasm and regular nuclei and mature with depth by becoming more slender / spindled with less pigment
  • Dermal melanocytes or nests are separated by collagenous stroma
  • Often clusters of chronic inflammatory cells at base of nevus
  • Mucin in < 1% (Am J Dermatopathol 2008;30:236)
  • May have occasional mitoses (Am J Dermatopathol 2013;35:30)

Compound nevus with halo reaction

Differential diagnosis
  • Other melanocytic proliferations
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