Squamous cell carcinoma in 6 patients with chronic discharging osteomyelitis: Is it really rare?


Serval ID
Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
Publication sub-type
Abstract (Abstract): shot summary in a article that contain essentials elements presented during a scientific conference, lecture or from a poster.
Squamous cell carcinoma in 6 patients with chronic discharging osteomyelitis: Is it really rare?
Title of the conference
28th annual meeting of the European Bone and Joint infection society
Borens O., Hofer M., Kalbermatten D., Guillou L., Osterheld M., Trampuz A.
Vienna, Austria, 17-19 September 2008,
Publication state
Issued date
Book of Abstracts
Introduction: Development of a squamous cell carcinoma (Marjolin's ulcer) is a rare but well-known complication of chronic discharging osteomyelitis. A high index of suspicion and highquality of histopathological examination are paramount in order to make the correct diagnosis.
Methods: During a 15-year period (1993 and 2008), patients with long-standing chronic osteomyelitis with clinical symptoms of >1 year of duration, were retrospectively reviewed. Included were patients with histologically confirmed squamous-cell carcinoma associated with chronic wound overlying the site of chronic osteomyelitis. Clinical features and treatment approaches of these patients were analyzed.
Results: During the study period, 6 patients were identified (2 women and 4 men) aged 52 to 67 years (mean 59 years). All patients had a long history of chronic discharging osteomyelitis (12, 19, 21, 30, 39 and 40 years), localized in the lower (5 patients) or upper extremitiy (1 patient). All tumors were histologically highly-differentiated squamous-cell carcinomas involving the deep soft tissues and the bone. 5 of 6 patients were initially misdiagnosed as chronic bone infection since bacteria were isolated in wound swabs, including Staphylococcus aureus (n = 3), Escherichia coli (n = 1) and Staphylococcus epidermidis (n = 1). Treatment consisted of major amputation in 4 patients and radical surgical excision in 2 patients refusing amputation. 4 patients were lost to follow-up due to return to their country of origin, the remaining 2 patients were without signs of tumor recurrence (both after major amputation).
Conclusion: Malignant transformation of is a rare, but serious complication of long-standing discharging chronic osteomyelitis. All 6 patients were diagnosed after >10 years of persistent or recurrent wounds. It should be particularly suspected in case of a pathological fracture, development of exophytic mass and changes in local pattern of the ulcers itself. Multiple biopsies, including deep soft tissues and bone, are recommended to distinguish between chronic osteomyelitis, pseudoepitheliomatous hyperplasia and highly-differentiated squamous cell carcinoma. Early diagnosis and a team approach (orthopaedic and plastic surgeon) are crucial for optimal management of the patient
Create date
10/02/2010 11:54
Last modification date
20/08/2019 14:21
Usage data