[Acanthosis nigricans, papillomatosis mucosae and "tripe palms" in a patient with metastasized gastric carcinoma].Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2006 May 26; 131(21):1209-13.DM
HISTORY AND CLINICAL FINDINGS
A 48-year-old obese man presented with thickening, coarseness and hyperpigmentation of the skin, especially of the intertriginous areas, papillomatous to verrucous lesions of the lips and buccal oral mucosa, and hyperkeratosis of the palms ("tripe palms") and soles. He was obese, reported sleep apnea and had a history of hyperuricemia, mixed hyperlipidemia and previous myocardial infarction. He was on a maintenance dose of a proton pump inhibitor for chronic gastro-esophageal reflux.
Immunohistochemical studies of the skin lesion revealed increased epidermal immunoreactivity for the melanocortin-1-receptor. Increased levels of tumor markers CA 19-9 (141100 U/ml), CA 72-4 (755 U/ml) and CEA (189 ng/ml) were found in the serum. Gastroscopic findings were suspicious of adenocarcinoma of the stomach: it was classified histologically as a signet-ring cell, non-mucinous adenocarcinoma. At the time of diagnosis the tumor had already metastasized to perigastric and peripancreatic lymph nodes with peritoneal carcinosis.
TREATMENT AND COURSE
Since a curative resection was impossible a gastrojejunostomy was carried out. After this the patient received several courses of chemotherapy according to different schemes. Serum tumor marker levels and cutaneous signs regressed several times.
Marked acanthosis nigricans -- especially when associated with further cutaneous markers of malignancy, e.g. mucocutaneous papillomatosis or so-called tripe palms -- calls for thorough search for malignant tumor, also if metabolic or endocrinological abnormalities co-exist. A pathogenetic role of a-melanocyte-stimulating hormone in the development of the skin changes is suggested.