Keratoacanthoma: a clinico-pathologic enigma

Dermatol Surg. 2004 Feb;30(2 Pt 2):326-33; discussion 333. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2004.30080.x.


Background: Keratoacanthoma (KA) is an extraordinary entity. Once considered a benign neoplasm that resembled a highly malignant one (pseudomalignancy), it is now viewed in an opposite light as a cancer that resembles a benign neoplasm (pseudobenignity).

Objective: The goal was to delineate the malignant potential of this neoplasm based on the author's experience and a review of recent data and research and to emphasize the KA as a possible part of an autosomal dominant familial cancer syndrome, the Muir-Torre syndrome.

Methods: This is a review of the literature.

Results: In this work, the KA is reviewed with recent advances emphasized.

Conclusion: KA is an abortive malignancy that rarely progresses into an invasive SCC. The KA may serve as a marker for the important autosomal dominant familial cancer syndrome, the Muir-Torre syndrome, as a result of a defective DNA mismatch repair gene.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Keratoacanthoma / diagnosis
  • Keratoacanthoma / epidemiology
  • Keratoacanthoma / physiopathology*
  • Keratoacanthoma / therapy
  • Skin Diseases / diagnosis
  • Skin Diseases / epidemiology
  • Skin Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Skin Diseases / therapy