Nucleolar organizer regions in malignant melanoma and melanocytic nevi: Comparison of two counting methods

C. Di Gregorio, L. Losi, G. Annessi, A. Botticelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using a silver staining technique, we studied nucleolar organizer regions (AgNOR) in paraffin sections of junctional nevi, compound nevi, intradermal nevi, blue nevi, dysplastic nevi, Spitz nevi, lentigo maligna, malignant melanomas in nevus, superficial spreading melanomas, and nodular melanomas. Two methods of counting black dots within nuclei were employed. One method was to count the discrete black dots within the nuclei, including the tiny black dots seen within the nucleolus; the second method did not take into account the subsidiary cluster of tiny black dots seen within the nucleolus, instead treating these dots as a single structure. Whichever method we used, a significant difference was found between the pooled mean AgNOR numbers for benign and malignant lesions. We found an overlap, however, between benign, in particular Spitz and dysplastic nevi, and malignant lesions when considering individual counts of AgNOR using both methods. We conclude that studying AgNOR does not seem to be a useful technique to differentiate Spitz and dysplastic nevi from malignant melanomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-333
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Dermatopathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1991


  • Malignant melanoma
  • Melanocytic nevi
  • Nucleolar organizer region

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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