Superficial necrolytic dermatitis (necrolytic migratory erythema) in dogs.

T. L. Gross, M. D. Song, Peter J Havel, P. J. Ihrke

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70 Scopus citations


Twenty-two dogs with superficial necrolytic dermatitis were evaluated prospectively, twenty-one of which had characteristic crusting lesions of the paw pads. Histologically, epidermal lesions included parakeratosis and laminar intracellular edema. The plasma amino acid concentrations of eight dogs were markedly depressed. Nine dogs had terminal diabetes mellitus. These clinical and morphologic findings were strikingly similar to those of necrolytic migratory erythema in human beings, the most common cause of which is hyperglucagonemia due to islet cell tumor of the pancreas. No pancreatic tumors were found in these dogs; plasma glucagon concentrations in the five dogs tested were normal. The serum alkaline phosphatase concentrations were elevated in all dogs. Severe vacuolar hepatopathy, suggesting metabolically or hormonally induced hepatic dysfunction, was found in 21 dogs at necropsy or by biopsy; one dog had ultrasonographic abnormalities of the liver. Histopathologically, severe vacuolar alteration resulted in parenchymal collapse and nodular regeneration, which grossly mimicked cirrhosis. Although the definitive metabolic stimulus was not discovered for the cutaneous and hepatic lesions, the similarity of the cutaneous and biochemical features of canine superficial necrolytic dermatitis to human necrolytic migratory erythema warrants further investigation into possible underlying pancreatic hormonal dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-81
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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