Ovarian cancer and gangrene of the digits: case report and review of the literature

Mayo Clin Proc. 1996 Mar;71(3):253-8. doi: 10.4065/71.3.253.


Digital ischemia has been reported with various types of cancer, especially gastrointestinal. It is more common in elderly women than in any other group, and the most common symptom is a gangrenous finger (or fingers). More than half of the patients have metastatic involvement. Once the primary disease has been treated, when feasible, the digital symptoms usually regress or disappear. The presence of digital ischemia without other rheumatologic stigmata or vascular predisposition in an elderly patient should raise clinical suspicion of a paraneoplastic phenomenon. Herein we describe a 65-year old woman with digital ischemia associated with ovarian cancer. The diagnosis was established by biopsy after extremely high levels of cancer antigen 125 were detected.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Fingers / blood supply*
  • Fingers / pathology*
  • Gangrene
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / complications*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / complications*