Case report| Volume 65, ISSUE 4, e90-e94, April 2012

‘Animal-type’ melanoma of the scalp with satellitosis and positive sentinel nodes in a 4-year-old child: Case report and review of the literature

Published:January 06, 2012DOI:



      Although showing a rapidly rising incidence, paediatric melanoma is relatively rare, accounting for 1–4% of all cases of melanoma and for 1–3% of all paediatric malignancies. The overall survival rate in paediatric patients seems to be similar to that recorded in adults. ‘Animal-type’ melanoma (ATM) is a rare melanoma subtype, occurring both in childhood and in adults, that shows a close histological resemblance to the heavily pigmented melanocytic tumours observed in grey and white horses.

      Case presentation

      We present a case of ATM of the scalp with satellitosis and two positive sentinel nodes in a 4-year-old male child. No other tumour deposits were found in the subsequent regional lymphadenectomy; the patient has been tumour free for 30 months.


      We treated our case of ATM in a child as the other types of paediatric melanoma, therefore as an adult melanoma. ATM is generally considered a neoplasm with an indolent course, that occasionally shows an aggressive behaviour, and patient deaths of ATM have been reported. Due to the rarity of ATM, further studies are needed to better define the biological behaviour of this particular melanoma subtype and the therapeutic and follow-up strategies.


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