Indian Journal of Dermatology
  Publication of IADVL, WB
  Official organ of AADV
Indexed with Science Citation Index (E) , Web of Science and PubMed
Users online: 3742  
Home About  Editorial Board  Current Issue Archives Online Early Coming Soon Guidelines Subscriptions  e-Alerts    Login  
    Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size Print this page Email this page

Table of Contents 
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 65  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 72-74
Paraneoplastic erythroderma as a protean manifestation of adenocarcinoma prostate

Department of Dermatology, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication13-Jan-2020

Correspondence Address:
Geo Celestin Danny
Department of Dermatology, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijd.IJD_189_18

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Danny GC, Swaminathan A, Rajesh G, Veeraraghavan M. Paraneoplastic erythroderma as a protean manifestation of adenocarcinoma prostate. Indian J Dermatol 2020;65:72-4

How to cite this URL:
Danny GC, Swaminathan A, Rajesh G, Veeraraghavan M. Paraneoplastic erythroderma as a protean manifestation of adenocarcinoma prostate. Indian J Dermatol [serial online] 2020 [cited 2022 Aug 15];65:72-4. Available from:


Erythroderma (red man syndrome or exfoliative dermatitis) is a rare inflammatory skin disorder which is well characterized by erythema and usually associated with variable proportion of scaling involving 90% of the body surface area (BSA). Erythroderma is primarily caused by psoriasis followed by drug reactions and few malignancies rarely.[1] Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second-most common malignancy and 5th predominant cause of mortality worldwide according to GLOBOCAN database.[2] Erythroderma might provide a sign to detect a possible underlying malignancy in 1% of the elderly age group.[3] Hence, we here present a case of a 80-year-old diabetic male who had presented with erythroderma and was finally diagnosed to have adenocarcinoma of the prostate gland.

Dermatological examination demonstrated generalized scaling and exfoliation involving >90% of the BSA. Pronounced erythema was observed over scalp [Figure 1], palms, and soles. Curdy white plaque was noted on tongue [Figure 2]. Bilateral toenails showed subungual hyperkeratosis and ridging. Bilateral non-tender inguinal lymphadenopathy was present. Lichenified papules and scaly plaques were seen over the extensor surfaces of trunk, upper and lower limbs. Histopathological results of skin biopsy revealed acanthosis, parakeratosis, spongiosis, and lymphocytic exocytosis with lymphocytic infiltrate admixed with pigment-laden macrophages seen around adnexa and blood vessels [Figure 3] and [Figure 4]. Few Civatte bodies and neutrophils were also observed.
Figure 1: Pronounced erythema and scaling over scalp

Click here to view
Figure 2: Leukoplakia on tongue

Click here to view
Figure 3: Photomicrograph showing parakeratosis, acanthosis, spongiosis and lymphocytic exocytosis with lymphocytc nfiltrate admixed with melanophages around adnexa and blood vessels (H and E, ×40)

Click here to view
Figure 4: Histological features in higher magnification (H and E, X100)

Click here to view

His routine blood investigation revealed low Hb, elevated total count, high blood sugar, increased blood urea and elevated levels of serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Rest of the parameters were within normal limits. Per rectal examination revealed hard tender prostatomegaly. The abnormal values of both average flow rate (4 ml/s) and postvoid residual (20 ml) from uroflowmetry established the diagnosis of PCa. Transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsy showed poorly differentiated anaplastic adenocarcinoma of the prostate with Gleason score (3 + 3) and WHO grade of Group 1 [Figure 5]. Technetium 99m-methyl diphosphonate scanning of the whole body revealed no evidence of bone metastasis. Transurethral resection of the prostate with bilateral orchidectomy was employed with an uneventful postoperative period. The patient was discharged and followed up once every 3 months till reporting.
Figure 5: Prostate biopsy demonstrating poorly differentiated anaplastic prostate adenocarcinoma grade I (H and E, x40 top; H and E, x100 bottom)

Click here to view

Our patient had shown the clinical features of erythroderma along with mild anemia and leukocytosis with eosinophilia.[3] This case report had also established the diagnosis of erythroderma secondary to PCa as paraneoplastic manifestation. Epidemiological information on erythroderma incidence in the Indian subcontinent is deficient. Male gender preponderance is common in the age group between 61 and 70 years. Inflammatory skin disorders secondary to malignancy are reported in 1%–11% of patients. The association of PCa with different paraneoplastic syndromes had been well documented as a rare entity.[4] Out of all the urological malignancies, PCa occupies the position next to renal cell carcinoma. Momm etal. have reported and concluded that PSA is a useful marker as stated in our paper.[5] Erythroderma may occur as a protean manifestation of these paraneoplastic syndromes in an advanced stage of the tumor with poor prognosis.

The pathogenesis of PCa-related erythroderma is thought to be immune mediated. The previous reports had proposed that cellular adhesion molecules (VCAM-1, ICAM-1, E-selectin, and P-selectin) and cytokines (interleukin 1-2-8) to be key players through complex interaction resulting in a higher epidermal turnover.[6] Routine screening of malignancy-related biomarkers is recommended in older individuals of more than 45 years who had no previous history of skin pathology or unexplained dermatological finding like erythroderma.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form, the patient has given his consent for his images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patient understands that his names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal his identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.


Authors would like to acknowledge the Department of Pathology, Sri Ramachandra Medical College, Chennai for providing the histopathology images used in this manuscript.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Fritsch P. Entzündliche Dermatosen unklarer čtiologie. Erythrodermien. In: Fritsch P. Dermatologie und Venerologie, Lehrbuch und Atlas. Berlin–Heidelberg–New York: Springer; 1998.  Back to cited text no. 1
GLOBOCAN 2012. Population Size Data were Retrieved from the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, United Nations. Available from: [Last accessed on 2018 Aug 07].  Back to cited text no. 2
Yuan XY, Guo JY, Dang YP, Qiao L, Liu W. Erythroderma: A clinical-etiological study of 82 cases. Eur J Dermatol 2010;20:373-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
Hong MK, Kong J, Namdarian B, Longano A, Grummet J, Hovens CM, et al. Paraneoplastic syndromes in prostate cancer. Nat Rev Urol 2010;7:681-92.  Back to cited text no. 4
Momm F, Pflieger D, Lutterbach J. Paraneoplastic erythroderma in a prostate cancer patient. Strahlenther Onkol 2002;178:393-5.  Back to cited text no. 5
John N, Ahern E, Chakraborty A. Paraneoplastic rash as the presenting feature of squamous cell carcinoma of the lung. Age Ageing 2007;36:468-9.  Back to cited text no. 6


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]


Print this article  Email this article
    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
    Article in PDF (1,975 KB)
    Citation Manager
    Access Statistics
    Reader Comments
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded33    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal