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Acta Vulnologica 2008 September;6(3):139-48


language: Italian

Neoplastic ulcers of the lower extremities

Corradin M. T., Fava C., Gandi A., Marcuz G.

Unità Operativa di Dermatologia Azienda Ospedaliera di Pordenone Pordenone, Italia


Aim. To analyze the main characteristics of neoplastic skin ulcers of the lower extremities, their frequency, clinical features, and modes of treatment.
Methods. This retrospective study evaluated cases of neoplastic skin ulcers of the lower extremities in patients assessed at the Outpatient Vascular Services of the Dermatology Department, Santa Maria degli Angeli Hospital, Pordenone, between 2003 and 2007. The patient sample was stratified by age, lesion site, presence of a primary or recurrent lesion, single or multiple lesions. The data were analyzed and relevant parameters were summarized in graphic format.
Results. The data analysis showed that the two most common types of neoplastic ulcer were basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Far less frequent were other benign or malignant neoplasms such as keratoacanthoma, clear-cell acanthoma, Bowen’s disease, and melanoma. Neoplastic ulcers were more frequent in women than in men; the mean age at diagnosis was 75 years. Multiple neoplastic ulcers may develop in the same patient; history is often positive for previous cutaneous neoplasia or actinic damage.
Conclusion. Neoplastic ulcers account for a small subgroup of ulcers of the lower extremities; however, complications arising from misdiagnosis make proper identification and diagnosis vital. Failure to heal within at least 3 months of adequate treatment is an indication for skin biopsy and histologic study to rule out the presence of a neoplasm.

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