Published: 2019-10-21

Bleomycin-induced flagellate pigmentation: a case report from North-East India

Nandakishore Thokchom, Nandita Bhattacharjee, Linda Kongbam


Bleomycin is an antitumour antibiotic commonly used in the management of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and germ cell tumours. Flagellate pigmentation is a very specific and rare cutaneous adverse effect of bleomycin. It is characterised by linear, painless, pruritic, hyperpigmented lesions simulating marks of whiplashes over trunk and extremities. With the advent of targeted therapies resulting in the infrequent use of bleomycin, this unique side effect is also uncommonly encountered nowadays. Here, we report a case of bleomycin-induced flagellate pigmentation in a 35-year-old Indian female with ovarian teratoma. The characteristic patterned hyperpigmented patches developed following 2nd cycle of chemotherapy with bleomycin, etoposide and cisplatin.



Bleomycin, Flagellate, Pigmentation

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