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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2011 Jun;25(6):722-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2010.03818.x. Epub 2010 Aug 23.

Cutaneous metastasis of lung carcinoma: a retrospective study of 12 cases.

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  • 1Department of Pathology Department of Pneumology (PAV I), Aderrahmen's Mami Hospital of Respiratory Diseases, Ariana, Tunis, Tunisia.



The skin is a rare site of metastasis of the internal malignancies. On the contrary, lung cancer is a common primary malignancy of skin metastasis. The latter is either synchronous with the primary lung tumour or can reveal it.


To analyse the clinical findings and the outcome of cutaneous metastasis in patients with primary lung cancer.


Retrospective study including 12 cases of cutaneous metastasis of lung cancer diagnosed in our institution during 6years.


Our patients included three women and nine men with a median age of 59.83years. The cutaneous metastases were unique in seven cases. They revealed the primary tumour in two cases, were discovered synchronously with the primary tumour in six cases and after the primary tumour in four cases. They appeared in patients presenting multiple metastases in 10 cases. Clinical appearance consisted on a firm nodule, sometimes ulcerated with a diameter ranging from 0.5 to 5.5cm. The tumour was sited in the thorax, the back, the abdomen; or the upper or lower limbs. Pathological examination of bronchial biopsy revealed an adenocarcinoma in eight cases, a squamous cell carcinoma in two cases and a small cell carcinoma in two cases. In spite of lung cancer therapies, the patients with metastasis to other organs with a median follow-up time of 4months died.


Cutaneous metastases of lung cancer are of poor prognosis. They are most of the time associated with an advanced neoplastic process with metastasis to other organs. Median survival after skin involvement does not exceed months.

© 2010 The Authors. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology © 2010 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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