Indian Journal of Dermatology
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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 5-7
Skin metastasis: A rare localization from laryngeal carcinoma and overview of similar cases

1 Department of Pathology, Gorgan University of Medical Sciences, Iran
2 Department of Otolaryngology, Gorgan University of Medical Sciences, Iran
3 Department of Embryology and Histology, Gorgan University of Medical Sciences, Iran
4 Department of General Surgery, Gorgan University of Medical Sciences, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Ramin Azarhoush
Pathology Lab; 5th Azar Hospital, 5th Azar Blv., Gorgan, P.O.Box: 49177-61551
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Cutaneous metastases from carcinoma of the larynx are very rare. Distant metastases in squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx have an incidence of 6.5-7.2% and most commonly involve the lungs, liver and bone. Metastases to the skin are exceedingly rare. We observed a 75-year-old Iranian patient with squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx who developed a subcutaneous nodule on the buttock. It was found to be a metastatic tumor from the laryngeal cancer, histopathologically. Skin metastases may represent the first clinical evidence of impending locoregional recurrence, suggest distant metastatic spread, or rarely, be the first sign of 'silent' laryngeal tumor. They are usually considered a poor prognostic sign and most often affect the supradiaphragmatic area, i.e. the head, neck, thorax or upper extremities. From stand point of topography, buttock metastasis is exceptional.

Keywords: Buttock, cutaneous metastasis, laryngeal carcinoma

How to cite this article:
Azarhoush R, Taziki MH, Golalipour MJ, Arya B. Skin metastasis: A rare localization from laryngeal carcinoma and overview of similar cases. Indian J Dermatol 2009;54, Suppl S1:5-7

How to cite this URL:
Azarhoush R, Taziki MH, Golalipour MJ, Arya B. Skin metastasis: A rare localization from laryngeal carcinoma and overview of similar cases. Indian J Dermatol [serial online] 2009 [cited 2022 Jan 17];54, Suppl S1:5-7. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Cutaneous metastases are quite uncommon. The frequency of cutaneous metastasis from internal carcinomas ranges from 0.7 to 10% according to different authors. [1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6]

Lung, large intestine and oral cavity carcinomas are the most common underlying tumors in male, whereas in females, breast carcinoma is the internal neoplasm that the most frequently cause of skin metastasis. [7]

Nodular, inflammatory, telangiectatic and bullous are various forms of clinical presentations of skin metastasis. [7],[8],[9],[10]

Inflammtory cutaneous metastases are frequently observed in patients affected by breast carcinoma. [11],[12] However this type of meastasis has also been reported in patients with carcinoma of pancreas, rectum, lung, ovary, parotid gland and urinary bladder. [13],[14],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19] The nodular carcinoma, the most common form of metastasis caused by lymphatic dissemination, asymptomatic, firm nodules are located in the skin and subcutaneous tissue. [20] These located in the skin may cause ulceration of the skin. Skin metastases may represent the first clinical evidence of impending locoregional recurrence, suggest distant metastatic spread, or rarely, be the first sign of 'silent' laryngeal tumor. They often affect the supradiaphragmatic area, i.e. the head, neck, thorax or upper extremities. [21]

   Case History Top

A 75-year-old male a smoker farmer, presented with a cutaneous nodule sited in his left buttock. 18 months before, the patient had undergone a total laryngectomy and radical neck dissection for a squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx. After the operation, the patient received radiotherapy, and was disease free until two months before referring to a surgery clinic, for a small induration in his left buttock which gradually became larger and formed a large subcutaneous nodule (3cm in diameter) and later became ulcerated. The cutaneous mass was resected and histopathological exams revealed a cutaneous metastasis from laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma. Histological examinations revealed scattered islands of tumor cells and fibrosis of the dermis, including cytologically atypical squamous cells extending to the hypodemis, with intact epidermis in serial sectioning [Figure 1],[Figure 2]. Immunohistochemical markers showed only positive staining of atypical cells with monoclonal anti-cytokeratin antibodies, confirming the epithelial origin of metastastic cells.

The patient died three month after the diagnosis of cutaneous metastasis due to massive pulmonary tumor infiltrations.

   Discussion Top

Squamous cell carcinoma is responsible for 95% of carcinoma of the larynx in adults and is the most common tumor in upper respiratory tract. [22]

This tumor originates from glottis (59%), supraglottis (40%) or infraglottis (1%) [23] and generally spreads to regional lymph nodes or, through blood, to the pulmonary system. Skin metastasis has rarely been described, always as multiple or solitary nodules. [7],[24],[25] Another skin lesion frequently observed in patients after laryngectomy is "stomal recurrence". [26],[27],[28],[29],[30] The lesion usually presents as a nodule, plaque or exuberant granulation tissue. [31] Skin metastases may represent the first clinical evidence of impending locoregional recurrence, suggest distant metastatic spread, or rarely, be the first sign of 'silent' laryngeal tumor. They are usually considered a poor prognostic sign and most often affect the supradiaphragmatic area, i.e. the head, neck, thorax or upper extremities. Infradiaphragmatic presentation of metastatic laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma is exceptional, with only four cases reported in the literature. [21]

Krunic et al, reported a case of laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma with inferadiaphragmatic metastasis that is a very rare presentation, [31] as is our case. Horiuchi reported a case with abdominal wall skin metastasis. [32] Dissemination may take place through the lymphatics or through the blood stream, and may appear in any area of the skin. [5],[20] Aguilar reported four cases of metastatic epidermotrophic tumor that one of cases was as folliculotropism tumor. [33] Multiple skin metastatic tumors reported by Bhandarkar [34] and such skin metstatic tumor has a poor prognosis. Veraldi reported a case with metastatic laryngeal tumor in the form of localized nodules in frontal area and arm in a patient with laryngeal tumor. [24] Also, Lee reported three patients with skin metastatic tumor originated from malignant laryngeal tumor. In his patients, skin presentation was in the form of skin abscess in the neck. [35]

Bottoni reported a patient with metastatic laryngeal carcinoma in the form of infiltrate erythema in supra and infra clavicular regions after four years of primary surgical treatment. [36]

In conclusion, we reported this case because of the rarity of the cutaneous metastasis from squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx, especially to buttock.

Moreover, since such metastasis normally presents with nodules with or without ulceration, therefore every skin lesion in patients with history of laryngeal carcinoma should be considered as a probable skin metastasis.

   Acknowledgment Top

The author acknowledges the assistance of 5th Azar hospital pathology Lab for preparation of the necessary histopathological slides and photographs, also extends special regards to Dr.A.Homayounpour.

   References Top

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  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

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