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J Cutan Med Surg. 2001 Sep-Oct;5(5):390-3.

Microscopic acanthosis nigricans in type 2 diabetes.

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Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.



Acanthosis nigricans (AN) has been associated with insulin resistance. Individuals with type 2 diabetes are insulin-resistant and, therefore, could be expected to manifest AN. However, the prevalence and predictors of AN are unknown in this population.


An outpatient population with Type 2 diabetes (DM) was compared with matched controls (C) for microscopic and clinical AN along with measurement of body habitus, insulin, glucose, and androgen levels.


Twenty-four individuals with DM (12M, 12F) from a tertiary care center were compared with 24 C (12M, 12F). Fasting glucose, insulin, sex hormone binding globulin, androstenedione, dihydroepiandrosterone sulfate, and testosterone were measured. Height, weight, waist/hip measures, and a clinical survey for acanthosis were recorded. A 2-mm skin biopsy from midaxilla of the nondominant arm was taken for pathological review.


C and DM were matched for age and body mass index (BMI). Prevalence of microscopic AN in C was 12% (3/24) and in DM was 21% (5/24; NS). In C, AN was predicted by waist, waist/hip ratio, and fasting insulin measures, while none of the variables examined was predicative of AN in DM.


Microscopic acanthosis nigricans was found in similar numbers of people with DM when compared with C. Fasting insulin levels most strongly predicted the presence of AN in C, while no significant predictors of AN were found in the population with DM.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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