BACKGROUND: Distinction of Spitz nevus from malignant melanoma is sometimes difficult on the basis of conventional histology. A high rate of BRAF gene mutations in malignant melanomas (66%) and nevi (82%) has recently been reported.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We screened a series of 20 Spitz nevi for BRAF mutations in exons 11 and 15 by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE).
RESULTS: BRAF mutations could not be identified in Spitz nevi.
CONCLUSION: Our results show that mutations within the BRAF gene are useful markers for the differential diagnosis between Spitz nevus and malignant melanoma.