MinervaBMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.333.7573.866 (Published 19 October 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:866
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Dr. Quartey-papafio reported a case of bilateral (or type IV) nevus
of Ota (NO). (1) Nevus foscocoeruleus of Ota is common among Asians, while
in Caucasians it is rarer, but probably underdiagnosed. It has to be
noticed that bilateral NO is extremely rare in white-skinned people. (2)
NO derives from an abnormal migration of melanoblastic cells from the
primitive neural tube along the nerves to the dermoepidermal junction
during embryogenesis. Subsequently, all anatomical structures supplied by
the ophthalmic and maxillary nerves (skin, eye, oculomotor muscles,
retroorbital fat, lacrimal gland, tympanic membrane, internal ear,
maxillary sinus, oronasal mucosa and leptomeninges) can be involved.
The Author did not mention NO complications. First, glaucoma should be
excluded and the intraocular pressure monitored periodically. Second,
since white-skinned patients seem to be at higher risk for malignant
transformation to a uveal, retroorbital, intracranial or cutaneous
melanoma, (3) careful ophthalmologic, neurologic and dermatologic follow-
ups are recommended.
1. Quartey-papafio C. Minerva. Br Med J 2006; 333: 866.
2. Turnbull JF, Assaf Ch, Zouboulis C, Tebbe B. Bilateral naevus of
Ota: a rare manifestation in a Caucasian. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol
3. Patel BC, Egan CA, Lucius RW, Gerwels JW, Mamalis N, Anderson RL.
Cutaneous malignant melanoma and oculodermal melanocytosis (nevus of Ota):
report of a case and review of the literature. J Am Acad Dermatol
Competing interests: No competing interests