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Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2009 Oct;22(5):580-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-148X.2009.00613.x. Epub 2009 Jul 24.

Carney complex and lentiginosis.

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Program in Developmental Endocrinology & Genetics, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.


Initially described as the 'complex of myxomas, spotty skin pigmentation and endocrine overactivity,' Carney complex (CNC) is known as an autosomal dominant multiple neoplasia syndrome involving skin and cardiac myxomas, pigmented skin lesions and endocrine tumors. Pigmented cutaneous manifestations in CNC are important diagnostically because they can be used for the early detection of the disease and, thus, the prevention of life-threatening complications of CNC related to heart myxomas and endocrine abnormalities. Specific for the disease skin lesions are present in more than half of the CNC patients. A major challenge is to distinguish pigmented skin lesions associated with CNC from other skin pathology, and thus accurately estimate the risk of cancer in affected patients; curiously, patients with CNC do not appear to have predisposition to skin cancers whereas this is not the case with other genetic syndromes associated with melanotic and other cutaneous lesions. In this paper, we review the current knowledge on cutaneous pathology associated with CNC and the most recent data on the molecular basis of the disease.

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