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Merkel cell carcinomas are a rare type of neuroendocrine tumors of the head, neck, and extremities commonly found in older patients. Merkel cell carcinomas present as red-to-purple and nontender nodules with or without surface ulceration, usually measuring 2 cm in diameter.
Case Presentations
An 83-year-old woman with a skin-colored nodule on the dorsal aspect of her right wrist was referred to our department for treatment. The regional lymph nodes were not palpable, and the positron emission tomography/computed tomography scan did not reveal any distant metastases. We conducted wide excision of the lesion and sentinel lymph node biopsy. The defect caused by the excision and partial bone resection was reconstructed using a radical forearm rotational flap and a split-thickness skin graft. Postoperatively, the patient received adjuvant radiation therapy. We observed wound healing and an absence of complications such as recurrence at 1-year follow-up.
Merkel cell carcinomas are rare but aggressive neuroendocrine skin cancers, which rarely occur in the upper extremity. Our treatment of nonamputative wide excision and sentinel lymph node dissection, followed by postoperative radiation therapy, showed no local or distant recurrence. Here, we review the current literature on Merkel cell carcinomas and describe our approach of treatment.

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