Digital Quantification of Melanocytic Density in Resection Margins of Lentigo Maligna Using SOX10 Versus Hematoxylin-Eosin Staining.
PMID: 32675472 DOI: 10.1097/DAD.0000000000001749.
Lentigo maligna (LM) represents an overgrowth of atypical melanocytes at the dermal-epidermal junction of chronically sun-damaged skin. The presence of LM on sun-damaged skin poses a diagnostic challenge because the solar-induced melanocytic hyperplasia makes it difficult to assess the LM margins. Melanocytic density can be used to discriminate sun-damaged skin from LM. The aim of this study was to quantify the melanocytic density at the surgical margins of scanned whole-slide images of LM comparing sections stained with H&E and SOX10. Twenty-six surgically excised LM diagnosed at the Department of Pathology at Sahlgrenska University Hospital were collected. The slides that contained the closest surgical margin or harbored the highest density of melanocytes at the margin were selected for serial sectioning using H&E and SOX10. Whole-slide imaging at ×40 magnification was used, and a circular field with a diameter of 0.5 mm at the surgical margin was superimposed on the image. Five blinded pathologists reviewed the slides in a randomized order. In the majority of the cases (24/26), the pathologists identified more melanocytes on the SOX10 slides than those on the H&E slides. On average, 2.5 times more melanocytes were counted using SOX10 compared with H&E (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the average group SD on the H&E slides was 4.12 compared with 2.83 on the SOX10 slides (P = 0.004). Thus, the use of SOX10 staining leads to higher melanocytic density counts compared with H&E staining when assessing the surgical margins of LM. The use of SOX10 staining also significantly decreased the interobserver variability between pathologists.