Necrolytic migratory erythema

J Cutan Pathol. 2006 Mar;33(3):242-5. doi: 10.1111/j.0303-6987.2006.00408.x.


Background: Necrolytic migratory erythema is considered to be a paraneoplastic dermatosis. The classical symptoms are associated with alpha-cell pancreatic islet cell tumor or 'glucagonoma'. Generally, extracutaneous hallmarks of this disease include weight loss, diabetes, anaemia and diarrhoea.

Observation: We report a case of a 39-year-old woman with a 3-year history of recalcitrant psoriasiform eruption, who had no other associated symptoms on routine examination. Histologic examinations suggested necrolytic migratory erythema. Abdominal computer tomography was performed, which revealed a tumor in the tail of the pancreas. After distal resection of the pancreas her skin symptoms resolved in a few days time. Histology was consistent with glucagonoma. She is clinically well and symptomless and no signs of metastasis after 4 years.

Conclusions: It is infrequent to have only necrolytic migratory erythema, hyperglucagonaemia and islet-cell tumor but no other extracutaneous symptoms in glucagonoma syndrome. To our knowledge, ours is the second such case reported in the literature. Skin symptoms are important, often they are the clue to the diagnosis of glucagonoma syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Erythema / etiology*
  • Erythema / pathology*
  • Female
  • Glucagonoma / complications*
  • Glucagonoma / pathology*
  • Glucagonoma / surgery
  • Humans
  • Necrosis
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / complications*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Paraneoplastic Syndromes
  • Treatment Outcome