The importance of wound biopsy in the accurate diagnosis of acral malignant melanoma presenting as a foot ulcer

Natalie C. Yin, Mariya Miteva, Donald S. Covington, Paolo Romanelli, Olivera Stojadinovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Neoplastic changes arising at the sites of chronic, nonhealing wounds are not uncommon; however, they often go undiagnosed. We report a case of rapidly progressing plantar melanoma presenting as a chronic, nonhealing ulcer. A 46-year-old patient presented at a specialized Wound Healing Center with an enlarging painful ulcer on the right heel of 3 months duration. The wound was biopsied and specimens were sent for examination at the Wound Pathology service at the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami. Histology demonstrated features consistent with acral malignant melanoma. Immunohistochemistry using melanocytic markers MART-1, S-100, HMB-45 revealed positive staining indicating the presence of malignant cells, and D2-40 staining showed lymphatic invasion of the tumor in the wound biopsy specimen. The case presented here underscores the importance of wound biopsying in the diagnosis of malignancies associated with nonhealing wounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-292
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Lower Extremity Wounds
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013



  • biopsy
  • foot
  • malignant melanoma
  • ulcer
  • wound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this