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Cerebral Mass Due to Neurocutaneous Melanosis: Eight Years Later

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Neurocutaneous melanosis (NCM) is associated most commonly with giant congenital melanocytic nevi (CMN), in particular those on the scalp or in a posterior axial location that are accompanied by satellite congenital nevi. It also can occur in patients with multiple medium-sized CMN. In general, the prognosis of those with symptomatic NCM is poor, even in the absence of malignancy, while the prognosis of those with asymptomatic NCM detected via screening varies and is more difficult to predict. Herein we report an asymptomatic patient with a giant CMN and multiple satellite nevi who had a screening magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study at age 5 months that showed a rounded area of increased signal in the right temporal lobe on T1-weighted images, suggestive of parenchymal melanosis. This melanotic mass was resected at age 10 months, and histologic examination of the surgical specimen showed prominent perivascular collections of benign, pigment-containing melanocytes within cerebral tissue. The patient remains healthy 8 years later. His excellent long-term outcome and other reports of NCM with localized central nervous system (CNS) involvement apparent on MRI may have implications for management, including early imaging of patients with high-risk CMN and potential surgical intervention for NCM.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Dermatology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut

Publication date: October 1, 2001

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