Since the original reports of acanthosis nigricans by Pollitzer1 and Janovsky,2 about 300 authentic cases have been described. These included instances both of the juvenile and of the malignant type of the disease. In reviewing the literature, it was noted that in the majority of the cases the disease was associated with a malignant growth in the abdomen.
The consensus is that in many cases acanthosis nigricans is due to the presence of tumors adjacent to the abdominal sympathetic system and adrenal glands. Wieder3 concluded that in many cases, including cases of the juvenile type, the disease cannot be accounted for by this hypothesis. Many investigators have described cases of acanthosis nigricans associated with some systemic maligant growth, usually involving the stomach or uterus. Many of the patients have been infants and children. Usually the younger the patient the more unlikely the association of a malignant growth.
FRANKS AG. ACANTHOSIS NIGRICANS. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1943;47(1):97–101. doi:10.1001/archderm.1943.01500190100010
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