Indian Dermatology Online Journal

: 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 227--228

SkIndia Quiz 37: A persistent plaque in the pubic region

Lalit Kumar Gupta, Ranjana Beniwal, Ashok Kumar Khare, Asit Mittal, Sharad Mehta, Manisha Balai 
 Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, RNT Medical College, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Lalit Kumar Gupta
Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, RNT Medical College, Udaipur - 313 001, Rajasthan

How to cite this article:
Gupta LK, Beniwal R, Khare AK, Mittal A, Mehta S, Balai M. SkIndia Quiz 37: A persistent plaque in the pubic region.Indian Dermatol Online J 2017;8:227-228

How to cite this URL:
Gupta LK, Beniwal R, Khare AK, Mittal A, Mehta S, Balai M. SkIndia Quiz 37: A persistent plaque in the pubic region. Indian Dermatol Online J [serial online] 2017 [cited 2022 Jan 25 ];8:227-228
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Full Text

A 70-year-old man presented with an itchy eczematous well-defined plaque of size 10 × 7 cm involving the pubic region, penis, and scrotum. It was eroded at places and covered with grayish-white scales and crusts [Figure 1]. The lesion had persisted almost unchanged for 15 years despite treatment. Skin biopsy stained with hematoxylin and eosin stain showed characteristic features [Figure 2]a and [Figure 2]b. Special stain with mucicarmine was positive [Figure 3]. Immunohistochemistry markers were positive for CK7 and negative for CK20 and CEA [Figure 4]. Whole body positron emission tomography scan did not reveal any abnormality.{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Figure 3}{Figure 4}


What is your diagnosis?

Histology showed circumscribed collections of large cells with abundant pale-staining cytoplasm and pleomorphic nuclei in the epidermis [Figure 2]. Some of the cells had a “signet ring” appearance. Staining with mucicarmine was positive [Figure 3]. On immunohistochemistry [Figure 4], these cells were positive for cytokeratin 7(CK7) but negative for cytokeratin 20(CK20) and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA).

 View Answer


Extramammary Paget's disease.


Extramammary Paget's disease (EMPD) is a rare neoplasm of the apocrine gland bearing skin that presents as a slowly spreading, erythematous or leukoplakic, marginated plaque. The lesion can be eczematous, crusted, scaly, or occasionally ulcerated.[1] The hallmark of EMPD is its relentless progression despite topical therapy.

EMPD encompasses two different forms: Primary and secondary. The primary EMPD is initially limited to the epithelium and is not associated with distant adenocarcinoma. The secondary form is associated with an underlying adenocarcinoma from dermal adnexal glands or contiguous epithelium, usually of genitourinary or gastrointestinal tract.[2]

Diagnosis of EMPD rests on histological identification of Paget's cells that show strong cytoplasmic staining for Periodic acid-Schiff (PAS), mucicarmine and alcian blue. They also react positively with anti-cytokeratin (CAM 5.2), epithelial membrane antigen (EMA), cytokeratin 7 (CK7), CEA, and gross cystic disease fluid protein-15 (GCDFP-15).[3]

Wide surgical excision or Moh's micrographic surgery is the treatment of choice for EMPD. Topical treatment with imiquimod, bleomycin or 5-flurouracil, photodynamic therapy, radiotherapy, and laser therapy have been tried.[4] There is a need for long-term follow-up to exclude recurrence of disease or development of an associated malignancy.

Learning points

Any long-standing eczematous plaque in the apocrine gland–bearing areas that defies conventional treatment should arouse the suspicion of EMPDEarly recognition followed by biopsy and histological confirmation are crucial for timely surgical interventionThe patient should be investigated for underlying malignancies of the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tractHistology is quite characteristic and shows cells with abundant pale-staining cytoplasm and pleomorphic nuclei (signet ring cells).

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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