Oral melanotic macule and primary oral malignant melanoma: Epidemiology, location involved, and clinical implications

Department of Dermatology, Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontology (Impact Factor: 1.46). 07/2011; 112(1):e21-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.tripleo.2011.02.040
Source: PubMed


Oral malignant melanoma must be differentiated from melanotic macule.
Retrospective review of 2 series of oral melanotic macule (n = 52) and oral melanoma (n = 130) were conducted to investigate the epidemiology and location involved and assess their differences.
The mean age of oral melanotic macule patients was 47.3 years, with female:male ratio 2.1 and the lower lip being the predominant location. The mean age of oral melanoma patients was 53.8 years, with no observed sex predilection and the main locations being palate and gingiva. Differences between the 2 cohorts in age (P = .006), gender (P = .014), and lesion site (P < .001) were noted. In this review, 1 case of oral melanotic macule was found to subsequently develop into melanoma.
Oral melanotic macule may possess malignant potential. Biopsy is recommended to differentiate oral melanoma from melanotic macule for male patients >60 years old with suspected melanotic macule lesion located on the palate.

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