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Year : 2000  |  Volume : 66  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 270-271

Squamous cell carcinoma arising from Gumma

Correspondence Address:
K Pavithran

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 20877101

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Syphilitic gumma is now rare to be seen. Squamous cell carcinoma arising from gumma is still more rare. We report a case of gumma in which squamous cell carcinoma developed.

Keywords: Gumma, Squamous cell carcinoma, Carcinoma

How to cite this article:
Pavithran K, Riyaz N. Squamous cell carcinoma arising from Gumma. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2000;66:270-1

How to cite this URL:
Pavithran K, Riyaz N. Squamous cell carcinoma arising from Gumma. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol [serial online] 2000 [cited 2020 Jun 5];66:270-1. Available from: http://www.ijdvl.com/text.asp?2000/66/5/270/4946

  Introduction Top

Gumma is the characteristic lesion of tertiary syphilis which may manifest 2­30 years after the primary. [1] It is a deep granulomatous process which begins as a subcutaneous nodule later breaking down to a punched out ulcer with 'wash­leather' granul­ation tissue and heal with tissue paper scar. Rarely squamous cell carcinoma can arise in such lesions. We report such a case.

  Case Report Top

A 50-year-old man was seen with a painless non-healing ulcer of the left shin of 4 years duration. It started as a nodule which broke down to form an ulcer. He gave history of a genital ulcer following extramarital sexual exposure 20 years back.

Examination revealed a pun­ched out ulcer of size 5 X 3 cms with surrounding irregular hyperkeratosis on the left shin [Figure - 1]. Multiple ill defined 'tissue paper' scars were seen around the ulcer. No bone thickening was observed around the ulcer. Another keratotic plaque with horny projection was seen on the (L) elbow in the vicinity of a scar [Figure - 2].

Systemic examination was normal. Investigations revealed a reactive blood VDRL (1/8) and positive TPHA (1/320). ELISA for HIV was negative. Skin biopsy was consistent with gumma. X-ray (L) leg showed a punched out erosion of left tibia with surrounding periosteal thickening.

Patient was treated with injection crystalline penicillin 4 million units IV every four hours for 14 days followed by benzathine penicillin 2.4 mega units IM weekly X 3 weeks. Inspite of treatment ulcer persisted. Hence a repeat biopsy was done which showed features of well differentiated squamous cell carcinoma.

  Discussion Top

Gumma is a rarity now-a-days due to early detection of syphilis and proper use of antibiotics.[2] The diagnosis of gumma was missed early in this case due to lack of awareness among non­dermatologists. Our patient had clinical, radiological and histiological evidence of gumma. Blood examination for VDRL is mandatory for all patients with chronic non-healing ulcers.

Squamous cell carcinoma arising from gumma is all the more rare. Unresponsiveness to specific treatment should provoke us to look for evidence of malignancy in chronic ulcers.

  References Top

1.Rhodes AR, Lugar AFH. Syphilis and other treponematoses. In: Fitzpatrick TB, Eisen AZ, Wolf K, et al. eds. Dermatology in General Medicine, 3 rd ed. New York: Mc-Graw Hill, 1987; 23: 95-2452.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Egistein WH, Kelly EC. Cutaneous gumma-a contemporary disease. South Med J 1969;62:976-977.  Back to cited text no. 2    


[Figure - 1], [Figure - 2]


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