Arch Craniofac Surg.  2019 Dec;20(6):392-396. 10.7181/acfs.2019.00206.

Cutaneous metastatic renal cell carcinoma to the scalp

  • 1Department of Plastic Surgery, Kyung Hee University Hospital, Kyung Hee University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) represents 2% to 3% of human cancers and is aggressive, with metastatic capability. The frequent metastatic sites are lung, bone, and liver. Reports of RCC metastatic to skin, and especially scalp are rare. Here we present an 83-year-old woman who was diagnosed with RCC 19 years prior and had a metastatic scalp lesion. An 83-year-old woman presented with a red-to-purple, protruding lesion at the right parietotemporal area. Twenty-three years ago, a right renal mass was incidentally discovered on ultrasound through a routine medical examination. She underwent right nephrectomy for RCC 4 years later. Five months after nephrectomy, new lung nodules were observed. Fifteen years after nephrectomy, metastatic lesions were found in the pelvic bone. She visited dermatology department for evaluation of the new scalp lesion, a year before she first visited our department. Despite chemotherapy, the mass was gradually enlarged. She consulted the plastic surgery department for management of the metastatic RCC was successfully treated with total excision including a 1-cm safety margin, local flap, and STSG coverage. Complete healing was observed, without evidence of recurrence during a 7-month follow-up. Metastases to the skin are rare, but must be kept in mind because of its high metastatic ability and poor prognosis.


Carcinoma, renal cell; Neoplasm metastasis; Skin neoplasms
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