Autopsy and Case Reports
Autopsy and Case Reports
Clinical Case Report

Esophageal Melanocytosis

Samikshya Thapa; Gajendra Kumar Yadav; Ratna Mondal; Ravi Hari Phulware

Downloads: 1
Views: 157


Esophageal melanocytosis is a rare entity defined by the proliferation of a melanocytic basal layer of the esophageal squamous lining and deposition of melanin in the esophageal mucosa. Esophageal melanocytosis is considered a benign entity of unknown etiology; however, it has been reported as a melanoma precursor. We report a case of esophageal melanocytosis in a diabetic and hypertensive 67-year-old male with recurrent dizziness and syncope for the past 6 months. Given his complaint of dyspepsia, he underwent an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, in which an esophageal biopsy revealed the diagnosis of esophageal melanocytosis. The definitive diagnosis of esophageal melanocytosis can only be made by histological analysis. The histologic differential diagnoses include melanocytic nevi and malignant melanoma. Therefore, they need to be ruled out.


Esophagus, Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal, Esophageal Mucosa, Melanins, Gastroesophageal Reflux


1 Destek S, Gul VO, Ahioglu S, Erbil Y. A rare disease of the digestive tract: esophageal melanosis. Gastroenterol Res. 2016;9(2-3):56-60. PMid:27785326.

2 Chang F, Deere H. Esophageal melanocytosis morphologic features and review of the literature. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2006;130(4):552-7. PMid:16594751.

3 Yokoyama A, Omori T, Yokoyama T, et al. Esophageal melanosis, an endoscopic finding associated with squamous cell neoplasms of the upper aerodigestive tract, and inactive aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 in alcoholic Japanese men. J Gastroenterol. 2005;40(7):676-84. PMid:16082583.

4 Lu T-J, Huang T-W, Lee S-C. Primary malignant melanoma of the esophagus. Ann Saudi Med. 2008;28(6):458-60. PMid:19011307.

5 De La Pava S, Nigogosyan G, Pickren JW, Cabrera A. Melanosis of the esophagus. Cancer. 1963;16(1):48-50.<48::AID-CNCR2820160107>3.0.CO;2-M. PMid:14025842.

6 Agarwal S A, Gnanamoorthy K, Arun K, Athani AV. Esophageal melanosis: an unknown entity. Cureus. 2022;14(9): e29064.

7 Ghadially FN, Walley VM. Melanoses of the gastrointestinal tract. Histopathology. 1994;25(3):197-207. PMid:7821887.

8 Mori A, Tanaka M, Terasawa K, Hayashi S, Shimada Y. A magnified endoscopic view of esophageal melanocytosis. Gastrointest Endosc. 2005;61(3):479-81. PMid:15758930.

9 Gordon PR, Mansur CP, Gilchrest BA. Regulation of human melanocyte growth, dendricity, and melanization by keratinocyte derived factors. J Invest Dermatol. 1989;92(4):565-72. PMid:2467948.

10 Yamazaki K, Ohmori T, Kumagai Y, Makuuchi H, Eyden B. Ultrastructure of oesophageal melanocytosis. Virchows Arch A Pathol Anat Histopathol. 1991;418(6):515-22. PMid:2058085.

11 Ishida M, Mochizuki Y, Iwai M, Yoshida K, Kagotani A, Okabe H. Pigmented squamous intraepithelial neoplasia of the esophagus. Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2013;6(9):1868-73. PMid:24040452.

12 Walter A, van Rees BP, Heijnen BH, van Lanschot JJ, Offerhaus GJ. Atypical melanocytic proliferation associated with squamous cell carcinoma in situ of the esophagus. Virchows Arch. 2000;437(2):203-7. PMid:10993284.

13 Maroy B, Baylac F. Primary malignant esophageal melanoma arising from localized benign melanocytosis. Clin Res Hepatol Gastroenterol. 2013;37(2):e65-7. PMid:22959400.

14 Rodriguez Fernandez L, García Sánchez MC, Prieto de Paula JM, Miramontes González JP. Black esophagus and diabetes: a close relationship. Cardiovasc Endocrinol Metab. 2020;10(1):59-61. PMid:33634258.

15 Vakharia BM, Pietruk T, Calzada R. Anthracosis of the esophagus. Gastrointest Endosc. 1990;36(6):615-7. PMid:2279658.

16 Kim SH, Jeong JB, Kim JW, et al. Clinical and endoscopic characteristics of drug-induced esophagitis. World J Gastroenterol. 2014;20(31):10994-9.

17 Changela K, Reddy M. Smoker’s melanosis: isolated pigmented lesion in the laryngopharynx and esophagus. Turk J Gastroenterol. 2017;28(6):524-5. PMid:29086722.

Submitted date:

Accepted date:

Publication date:

664ded33a953953353300a62 autopsy Articles
Links & Downloads

Autops Case Rep

Share this page
Page Sections