Clinical and histopathologic features of paraneoplastic granuloma annulare in association with solid organ malignancies: A case–control study

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Abstract

Background

Granuloma annulare (GA) is a granulomatous skin eruption rarely associated with cancer. We report seven cases of paraneoplastic GA in association with solid organ malignancy.

Objective

To compare the clinical and histopathological features of paraneoplastic GA to case-matched controls of classic GA.

Methods

Retrospective chart and histopathological review of 7 individuals and 13 age- and sex-matched controls. Paraneoplastic GA was defined as GA occurring within 6 months of the diagnosis of solid organ malignancy and/or persistent GA that resolved with cancer treatment.

Results

Most cases of paraneoplastic GA were associated with lung cancer (4/7). The clinical and histopathological features of paraneoplastic and classic GA were similar. Compared to classic GA, paraneoplastic GA cases were more often generalized disease (6/7 vs 6/13), refractory to treatment, and had a perivascular inflammatory cell infiltrate (5/7 vs 2/13). All cases of paraneoplastic GA that underwent definitive treatment of their cancer improved.

Limitations

Single-institution, retrospective review with a small sample size.

Conclusion

Paraneoplastic GA is rare, similar to classic GA, and refractory to treatment. We advocate for age-appropriate screening in individuals with GA that is nonresponsive to multiple lines of systemic treatment and evaluating patients with concerning signs or symptoms for an underlying neoplasm.

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