Annals of Ibadan Postgraduate Medicine

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Acanthosis nigricans in the head and neck region

JA Fasunla, GT Ijaduola


Background: The sudden appearance of acanthosis nigricans on the skin of an individual is highly suggestive of an underlying clinical disease. However, there is no information on its possible association with head and neck disease in our environment. Objective: To determine the prevalence of acanthosis nigricans and identifying the underlying associated medical and oncologic factor in an Otorhinolaryngologic, head and neck practice.
Method: This was a 12-month prospective study of patients seen at Otorhinolaryngology department of University College Hospital, Ibadan. Relevant clinical, anthropometric and biochemical information were obtained with an interviewer assisted questionnaire and data analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results: Of 764 patients, 85(11.13%) had head and neck malignancies, 15(1.96%) had diabetes mellitus in addition to the Otorhinolaryngologic, head and neck diseases. The body mass
index values for male and female ranged from 18.26 – 25.68kg/m² and 17.94 – 30.25kg/m² respectively. Only two patients, one with nasopharyngeal cancer and the other with obesity in addition to
chronic rhinosinusitis had acanthosis nigricans.
Conclusion: Acanthosis nigricans is not common among Otorhinolaryngologic patients in our clinical setting with a prevalence of 0.003. Nevertheless, its presence should herald the suspicion of an underlying metabolic or oncologic disease.

Keywords: Acanthosis Nigricans, Otorhinolaryngology, Head, Neck
AJOL African Journals Online