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June 1968

Diffuse Melanosis in Malignant Melanoma: Report of a Case and of Studies by Light and Electron Microscopy

Author Affiliations

New York

From the Department of Dermatology (Drs. Silberberg and Kopf) and the Department of Surgery (Dr. Gumport), New York University School of Medicine, New York.

Arch Dermatol. 1968;97(6):671-677. doi:10.1001/archderm.1968.01610120061009

The clinical events and findings by light and electron microscopy are presented of a patient with malignant melanoma, primary in the skin, widely metastasized, and terminally associated with diffuse melanosis and melanuria. A marked increase in pigment was found in epidermis and dermis. The most likely explanation for the dermal melanosis is that it represents pigment produced by distant malignant melanoma cells. This pigment is secondarily deposited in the skin via the circulation. Hyperpigmentation of the epidermis in this patient probably arose from a different mechanism such as by increased melanogenesis by epidermal melanocytes or by decreased epidermopoiesis.