Frequency of Malignant Neoplasms in 257 Chronic Leg Ulcers

Authors

  • Cosimo Misciali MD,

    1. Internal Medicine, Aging and Nephrologic Diseases Department, Division of Dermatology, University of Bologna, Sant'Orsola—Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, Italy
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  • Emi Dika MD, PhD,

    Corresponding author
    • Internal Medicine, Aging and Nephrologic Diseases Department, Division of Dermatology, University of Bologna, Sant'Orsola—Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, Italy
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  • Pier Alessandro Fanti MD,

    1. Internal Medicine, Aging and Nephrologic Diseases Department, Division of Dermatology, University of Bologna, Sant'Orsola—Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, Italy
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  • Sabina Vaccari MD,

    1. Internal Medicine, Aging and Nephrologic Diseases Department, Division of Dermatology, University of Bologna, Sant'Orsola—Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, Italy
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  • Carlotta Baraldi MD,

    1. Internal Medicine, Aging and Nephrologic Diseases Department, Division of Dermatology, University of Bologna, Sant'Orsola—Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, Italy
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  • Paola Sgubbi MD,

    1. Internal Medicine, Aging and Nephrologic Diseases Department, Division of Dermatology, University of Bologna, Sant'Orsola—Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, Italy
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  • Annalisa Patrizi

    Prof.
    1. Internal Medicine, Aging and Nephrologic Diseases Department, Division of Dermatology, University of Bologna, Sant'Orsola—Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, Italy
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  • The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Emi Dika, MD, PhD, Internal Medicine, Aging and Nephrologic Diseases Department, University of Bologna, Division of Dermatology, Sant'Orsola—Malpighi Hospital, Via Massarenti 1, 40138 Bologna, Italy, or e-mail: emi.dika3@unibo.it

Abstract

Background

Chronic leg ulcers are one of the most common medical conditions and are a substantial source of morbidity.

Objectives

To investigate the prevalence of skin cancer mimicking leg ulcers.

Patients and Methods

This observational study included all patients with a clinical diagnosis of chronic leg ulcers (CLU) admitted to the Wound Care Unit, Division of Dermatology, University of Bologna, between March 2008 and February 2011. Patients' general health was assessed, and skin biopsy and vascular Doppler of the lower limbs were performed.

Results

Two hundred fifty-seven patients ages 45 to 98 with CLU were included. Skin biopsies were performed in all patients. Pathologic results showed that 10 patients had ulcerative lesions of neoplastic origin. Surgical excision was performed in all patients with neoplasms. After at least 1 year of follow-up, no recurrences were observed.

Discussion and Conclusion

Our findings highlight the important role of systematic biopsies in diagnosing ulcerated tumors of the lower legs and indicate a high prevalence of large ulcerated basal cell carcinomas.

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