BACKGROUND: The identification of BRAF mutations in melanoma led to the development and implementation of new and effective therapies. Few clinical and histological features have been associated with this mutational status.
OBJECTIVES: The main objective of this study was to investigate clinical, histopathological and dermoscopic characteristics of primary melanomas according to BRAF or NRAS mutational status.
METHODS: An observational retrospective study including melanoma dermoscopy images assessed for somatic mutations in BRAF and NRAS.
RESULTS: Seventy-two patients were included, 30 women (42%) and 42 men (58%), mean age was 59 ± 15.51 years. BRAF-mutated melanomas were more frequently located on the trunk (n = 18, 64% for BRAF-mutated vs. n = 11, 29% for wild-type melanomas, P = 0.013). Histological ulceration was associated with the presence of BRAF mutations [odds ratio (OR) 3.141; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.289-7.655; P = 0.002]. The Breslow index tended to be thicker in BRAF-mutated compared with wild-type (P = 0.086). BRAF mutations were present in 28 (39%) patients and only four cases were positive for NRAS mutations (6%), BRAF and NRAS mutations being mutually exclusive. The presence of dermoscopic peppering was associated with MAPK mutations (BRAF and NRAS) (OR 1.68; 95% CI 1.089-2.581; P = 0.015). Dermoscopic ulceration was also associated with BRAF mutations excluding acral and facial melanomas (OR 2.64; 95% CI 1.032-6.754).
CONCLUSIONS: This study showed a correlation between BRAF and NRAS status and dermoscopic findings of 'peppering' as an expression of regression and melanophages in the dermis, suggesting a morphological consequence of immune behaviour in BRAF-mutated melanomas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas