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Year : 2001  |  Volume : 67  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 177

The sign of leser-trelat

Department of Dermato-Venereology, Govt. Medical College & Rajindra Hospital, Patiala-147001, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
# 97, New Lal Bagh, Patiala - 147 001, India


Four cases of Leser-Trelat sign were studied in detail clinically and were investigated to establish their association with internal malignancy. One of them had papillary carcinoma of thyroid and the second had carcinoma of the body of pancreas. USG revealed mass in the gall bladder in the third case. He was lost before completion of other investigations. The fourth case was normal. So patients with Leser-Trclat sign must be carefully investigated in detail.

How to cite this article:
Mittal R R, Sonal J. The sign of leser-trelat. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2001;67:177

How to cite this URL:
Mittal R R, Sonal J. The sign of leser-trelat. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol [serial online] 2001 [cited 2020 Dec 5];67:177. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Leser-Trelat (LT) sign, first described by Edmund Leser and Ulysse Trelat, characterized by sudden eruption of numerous seborrhoeic keratoses, usually associated with pruritus is taken as a marker of internal malignancy.[1] LT sign associated with gas­tric carcinoma was reported and was thought to be incomplete form of acanthosis-nigricans.[1] LT sign was associated in 20% cases with acanthosis-nigricans.[2] Three cases of LT sign associated with malignancy of large bowel was reported.[3] LT sign in a case of carcinoma lung has also been reported.[5] Ronchese (1965) stated criteria for diagnosis of LT sign as rapid increase of seborrhoeic keratoses, pruritus, previous blemish free skin and associated internal malignancy.[6]

   Materials and Methods Top

Four cases of LT sign were studied in detail to establish their association with malignancy. Detailed history, dermatological examination, and general physical and systemic examination were done. Routine and relevant special investigations were carried out.

   Results Top

Investigations confirmed that 1 out of 4 cases with LT sign had pupillary carcinoma of thyroid [Figure - 1] and the second case had carcinoma body of pan­creas. USG revealed a mass in the gall bladder in the third case but was lost before completion of further investigations. The fourth case did not have any associated abnormality.

   Discussion Top

LT sign may or may not be associated with internal malignancy as was seen in the present study. Sudden appearance of eruptive seborrhoeic keratosis associated with pruritus is essential for diagnosis of LT sign which has to be differentiated from asymptomatic cases where multiple seborrhoeic keratoses develop slowly and progressively although histopathologically both were similar. Our results also confirm that LT sign should be taken seriously and such other cases must be investigated thoroughly.  

   References Top

1.Sneddon IB, Roberts BM. An incomplete form of acanthosis nigricans. J Br Soc Gastroent 1962;3:269-272.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Stone OJ. The sign of Leser-Trelat, A cutaneous sign of internal malignancy. Medical Hypothesis 1993;40:360-363.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Liddell K, White JE, Cladwell IW. Seborrhoeic keratosis and carcinoma of large bowel. Br J Dermatol 1975;92:440-452.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Doll DC, Mc Cagh MF, Welton WA. Sign of Leser-Trelat. J Am Med Assocc 1977;238:236-237.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Pavithran K. Leser-Trelat sign. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1989; 55: 196-197.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Ronchese F. Keratosis, cancer and sign of Leser-Trelat. Cancer 1965; 18:1003-1006.  Back to cited text no. 6    


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