The American Journal of dermatopathology

Comparison of pHH3, Ki-67, and survivin immunoreactivity in benign and malignant melanocytic lesions.

PMID 18360113


Differentiating malignant melanoma from benign melanocytic lesions can be challenging. We undertook this study to evaluate the use of the immunohistochemical mitosis marker phospho-Histone H3 (pHH3) and the proliferation markers Ki-67 and survivin in separating malignant melanoma from benign nevi. Sixty-six melanocytic lesions (18 malignant melanomas, 8 Spitz nevi, 20 dysplastic nevi, and 20 compound nevi) were stained with antibodies to pHH3, Ki-67, and survivin. No pHH3 expression was detected in the dermis of compound and dysplastic nevi. Rare mitoses were observed in the superficial dermis in 3 of 8 Spitz nevi (37%). Staining for pHH3 was higher in malignant melanomas [average 25 per 10 high-power field (HPF), range 2-75 per 10 HPF] than in Spitz nevi (average 0.5 per 10 HPF, range 0-2 per 10 HPF) and was heterogeneously distributed in the malignant melanomas compared with a superficial dermal location in Spitz nevi. There was no cytoplasmic staining for survivin in any of the 66 melanocytic lesions and no nuclear staining in any of the benign ones. Survivin nuclear staining was present in 12 of 18 cases of malignant melanoma (67%) with an average index of 7% (range 0%-15%). In benign melanocytic lesions, the Ki-67 index was less than 5% (range 0%-4%) and staining was present close to the dermo-epidermal junction compared with an average index of 27% in melanomas (range 5%-50%) and a generally heterogeneous pattern of staining throughout the dermis. pHH3 and Ki-67 can be useful adjuncts to histopathology to separate malignant melanoma from benign nevi. pHH3 is especially useful to highlight mitoses and to rapidly assess the mitotic activity in melanocytic lesions.

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Phosphohistone H3 (PHH3) Rabbit Polyclonal Antibody