August 1988

Lack of Association Between Skin Tags and Colon Polyps in a Primary Care Setting

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester. Dr Gould is now with Mount Sinai Hospital, Hartford, Conn.

Arch Intern Med. 1988;148(8):1799-1800. doi:10.1001/archinte.1988.00380080079021

• Cutaneous skin tags (acrochordons) have recently been proposed as markers for adenomatous polyps of the colon among symptomatic patients referred for colonoscopy. To ascertain the utility of skin tags as a predictor of colonic polyps in a primary care setting, 492 patients, with a mean age of 58±13.3 years (241 with signs or symptoms and 251 for screening), were evaluated for the presence of skin tags and then examined using a 60-cm fiberoptic sigmoidoscope by an examiner "blinded" to the skin findings. Among patients with skin tags, 23 (10.2%) of 226 had polyps, whereas among patients without skin tags, 20 (7.5%) of 266 had polyps. The predictive value of the presence of a skin tag was 10.2%. Contrary to studies done in more selected populations with a higher prevalence of adenomatous polyps, the results using a 60-cm flexible sigmoidoscope in a primary care population suggest that cutaneous skin tags are not a marker for adenomatous polyps of the colon.

(Arch Intern Med 1988;148:1799-1800)