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January 1983

Melanosis Coli: Changes in Appearance When Associated With Colonic Neoplasia

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs Morgenstern, Shemen, and Michel and Ms Amodeo) and Pathology (Dr Allen), Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles.

Arch Surg. 1983;118(1):62-64. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1983.01390010048011

• In 30 cases of colonic neoplasia associated with melanosis coli, proliferating or neoplastic colonic epithelium was notable within the melanotic colons by virtue of a striking absence of pigmentation. Microscopically this characteristic was found to be due to an absence or diminution of pigment-laden macrophages in the lamina propria underlying such lesions. Therefore, the absence of pigment-laden macrophages can be considered a marker for abnormally proliferating epithelium. This characteristic may denote a cellular or humoral change mediated by macrophages in association with neoplastic epithelium.

(Arch Surg 1983;118:62-64)

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