Since the time of Hippocrates osteoarthropathy has been known to be associated with pulmonary lesions. However, little emphasis has been placed on its association with carcinoma of the lung. The fact that osteoarthropathy may be an early sign of carcinoma of the lung has been almost entirely overlooked. In this presentation we wish to show that osteoarthropathy may be the first indication of an early carcinoma of the lung and that it may precede the usual signs and symptoms, including x-ray findings, by many months. Osteoarthropathy is a sign that is easily overlooked in a routine physical examination. For that reason we feel that by drawing attention to the diagnostic possibilities, more patients with early carcinoma may be discovered before other signs and symptoms present themselves.
There have been reports in the literature of small groups of patients with carcinoma of the lung who showed osteoarthropathy. The most comprehensive review
HARPER FR, PATTERSON LT. Osteoarthropathy in Carcinoma of the Lung. AMA Arch Surg. 1955;70(5):643-646. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1955.01270110015003