Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2013 , Vol 16, Issue 1
Elife ERARSLAN1, Hatice ÜNVERDİ2, İlahmi YÜKSEL1
1Etlik İhtisas Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi Gastroenteroloji ANKARA
2Etlik İhtisas Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi Patoloji ANKARA
Endoscopic esophageal melanocytosis is a benign, uncommon pathologic condition characterized by melanocytic proliferation in the basal layer of squamous esophageal epithelium and increased melanin in the mucosa. Esophageal melanocytosis, also called melanosis, is a rare condition of benign melanocytic proliferation, found in 0.07% to 2.1% of consecutive gastrointestinal endoscopies. Because esophageal melanocytosis is uncommon, no specific symptoms or unique treatments have been reported. Little is known about the etiology and natural course of this condition, although it has been suggested to be a precursor of primary esophageal melanoma by some authors. Malignant melanoma of the esophagus is an aggressive metastatic malignancy. Melanocytic nevi and malignant melanoma should be considered in the differential diagnosis of esophageal melanocytosis.

A sixty-four-year-old female patient was admitted to our outpatient clinic because of longstanding dyspeptic symptoms. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy of the esophagus revealed linear, dark-brown pigmented areas extending from the proximal to distal esophagus which were resembling vascular structures and biopsy specimens were obtained. Esophageal biopsy material was consistent with esophageal melanocytosis. In this article, we report an elderly case of esophageal melanocytosis with a review of the diagnosis and differential diagnosis based on the literature. Keywords : Aged; Melanosis/Pathology; Melanoma, Endoscopy