Cowden syndrome Q87.86

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

All authors of this article

Last updated on: 28.11.2022

Dieser Artikel auf Deutsch


Cowden M.; Cowden's syndrome; Hamartoma Syndrome; Hamartoma tumor syndrome; Hamartome multiple; M. Cowden; multiple hamartomas; Multiple Hamartoma Syndrome; Multiple hamartoma syndromes; OMIM 158350

This section has been translated automatically.

Dennis & Lloyd, 1963

This section has been translated automatically.

Autosomal-dominantly inherited genodermatosis (PTEN-hamartoma tumor syndrome/ PTEN= phosphatase and tensin homologue) with pathognomic mucocutaneous changes such as:

  • facial tricholemmomas
  • oral papillomatosis
  • acral keratoses
  • hamartous tumors of the mamma and thyroid gland
  • polyps in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Occasionally, café-au-lait stains are also detected (Murata J et al 1999).

Major diagnostic criteria include thyroid carcinomas, mammary and endometrial carcinomas, dysplastic gangliocytoma of the cerebellum, and macrocephaly(Lhermitte-Duclos syndrome). The extent to which associations with Lhermitte-Duclos syndrome represent merely a variant of Cowden syndrome, or a syndrome in its own right, remains open ( Suzuki H et al. 2017; Murata J et al. 1999).

This section has been translated automatically.

Rare; prevalence 1/200,000 inhabitants.

This section has been translated automatically.

Mutations of the PTEN1 tumor suppressor gene (phosphatase and tensin homolog gene) mapped to gene locus 10q23.3, with consecutive suppression of protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTEN), a protein that physiologically supports the onset of cell death. Suppression of PTEN protein thus stimulates cell proliferation and hamartoid growth.

Related syndromes in which PTEN germline mutations have also been found are Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome and Proteus syndrome.

This section has been translated automatically.

Mostly in the third or fourth decade of life. Women are affected in a ratio of 3:2 compared to men.

Clinical features
This section has been translated automatically.

Dermatologic leading symptoms: Papular, centrofacial and acral lesions. Periorificial and acral lentigines (café-au-lait spots), marked papillomatosis of the oral mucosa and intestinal tract. Tricholemmomas, trichoepitheliomas of the face. Frequent lipomas, hemangiomas and vitiligo.

Extracutaneous manifestations: bird face, microstomia, maxillary and mandibular hypoplasia, narrow nose, antimongoloid eyelid axis. Lingua plicata, tooth position anomalies. Multiple cysts in hyperplastic mammae, liver, thyroid and bones.

This section has been translated automatically.

Papilloma, tricholemmoma.

Differential diagnosis
This section has been translated automatically.

This section has been translated automatically.

Excision or electrocaustic ablation of cosmetically disturbing or suspicious malformations, monitoring and rehabilitation of carcinomas.

This section has been translated automatically.

High correlation with malignant tumors, especially breast and thyroid carcinomas.

This section has been translated automatically.

  1. Bruce H et al (2009) Cutaneous manifestations of internal malignancy. Cancer J Clin 59: 73-98
  2. Canadas LMC et al (2006) Multiple oral fibropapillomatosis as an initial manifestation of Cowden syndrome. Case report. Oral Medicine and Pathology 11: 319-324.
  3. Fistarol SK et al (2002) Cowden disease or multiple hamartoma syndrome--cutaneous clue to internal malignancy. Eur J Dermatol 12: 411-421.
  4. Fritsch P et al (1981) The multiple hamartoma syndrome (Cowden syndrome). Dermatologist 32: 285-291
  5. Happle R et al (2002) Radiation-induced cutaneous hamartoma in a patient with Cowden syndrome. Clinical evidence for heterozygosity. Dermatologist 53: 47-49
  6. Lloyd KM, Dennis M (1963) Cowden's disease: A possible new symptom complex with multiple systemic involvement. Ann Intern Med 58: l36-142
  7. Murata J et al (1999) Dysplastic gangliocytoma (Lhermitte-Duclos disease) associated with Cowden disease: report of a case and review of the literature for the genetic relationship between the two diseases. J Neurooncol 41:129-136.
  8. Schaller J et al (2003) Identification of human papillomavirus DNA in cutaneous lesions of Cowden syndrome. Dermatology 207: 134-140
  9. Suzuki H et al (2017) A case of Cowden syndrome associated with Lhermitte-Duclos disease. Brain Nerve 69:1442-1446
  10. Vega A et al (2003) A novel loss-of-function mutation (N48K) in the PTEN gene in a Spanish patient with Cowden disease. J Invest Dermatol 121: 1356-1359


Please ask your physician for a reliable diagnosis. This website is only meant as a reference.


Last updated on: 28.11.2022