Defining terms: Dysyplastic debate continues

December 1, 2007

In the Letters section of the October 2007 issue of Dermatology Times, both Craig G. Burkhart, M.D., and Michael H. Coverman, M.D., do not directly address two important points in the debate regarding "dysplastic" nevi. Clinical utility of a concept derives from its prognostic and therapeutic implications. Specifically, the utility of the concept of dysplastic nevi is that they are a significant risk factor for cutaneous melanoma.[1,2] This concept is analogous to hypercholesterolemia and hypertension being asymptomatic risk factors for cardiovascular disease and not diseases in and of themselves.