Metastatic melanoma is well known for its multiple manifestations, therefore it is not uncommon for several organ systems to be involved in terminal states. Willis,1 however, observed that metastasis to the gastrointestinal tract is rare. This concept is challenged by us, since we have found a high incidence of metastatic melanoma in the gastrointestinal tract.
A review of the literature shows that an antemortem diagnosis of metastatic melanoma in the stomach2,3 and small intestine4 is made occasionally. In most cases, however, the diagnosis was made just prior to the patient's demise.
The present study analyzes Memorial Hospital's experience, both clinical and postmortem, in metastatic melanoma of the gastrointestinal tract.
In over 1,000 cases of cutaneous melanoma seen by the Mixed Tumor Service, only nine had gastrointestinal metastasis confirmed by laparotomy.
In addition to those cases diagnosed antemortem, the autopsies of 100 patients dying of melanoma have also