The glucagonoma syndrome and necrolytic migratory erythema: a clinical review

in European Journal of Endocrinology

The glucagonoma syndrome is a rare disease in which a typical skin disorder, necrolytic migratory erythema, is often one of the first presenting symptoms. Weight loss and diabetes mellitus are two other prevalent characteristics of this syndrome. Necrolytic migratory erythema belongs to the recently recognized family of deficiency dermatoses of which zinc deficiency, necrolytic acral erythema and pellagra are also members. It is typically characterized on skin biopsies by necrolysis of the upper epidermis with vacuolated keratinocytes. In persistent hyperglucagonemia, excessive stimulation of basic metabolic pathways results in diabetes mellitus at the expense of tissue glycogen stores, and muscle and fat mass. Multiple (essential) nutrient and vitamin B deficiencies develop, which contribute to the dermatosis. In addition, glucagonomas may produce various other products, like pancreatic polypeptide, that add to the catabolic effects of glucagon.


Official journal of

European Society of Endocrinology