Erythroplasia of Queyrat

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Swathi Venkatesan, M.B.B.S.[2]

Synonyms and Keywords: EQ


Erythroplasia of Queyrat is a penile squamous cell carcinoma in situ named after Louis Queyrat, a French dermatologist who was head of the dermatology service of l'Hôpital Ricord, a venereal hospital in Paris, now Hôpital Cochin. The pathogenesis of erythroplasia of Queyrat is characterized as a precancerous lesion of squamous cell carcinoma in situ of the glans penis and inner prepuce or foreskin. Erythroplasia of Queyrat is most commonly observed among white male patients aged 60 years old and older with Human papilloma virus (HPV) infection or chronic irritation and lack of hygiene of pubic area. The most common risk factor in the development of erythroplasia of Queyrat is an uncircumcised penis. The mainstay of therapy for erythroplasia of Queyrat is imiquimod or 5-fluorouracil for several weeks to months.

Historical Perspective

  • Erythroplasia of Queyrat was first discovered and named after Louis Queyrat.[1]
  • Louis Queyrat was French dermatologist who was head of the dermatology service of l'Hôpital Ricord, a venereal hospital in Paris, now Hôpital Cochin.
  • Tarnovsky originally described erythroplasia of Queyrat in 1891, but it was Queyrat who originated the term erythroplasia in 1911.


Jackson's Staging System for Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Penis

Stage Description
I Confined to glans of prepuce
II Invasion into shaft or corpora
III Operable inguinal lymph node metastasis
IV Tumor invades adjacent structures; inoperable inguinal lymph node metastasis


Histopathological Features


Besides old age and lack of circumcision, erythroplasia of Queyrat has been linked to various factors including:

Differentiating Erythroplasia of Queyrat from Other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

  • Erythroplasia of Queyrat is more commonly observed among patients aged 60 years old.
  • Males are affected with erythroplasia of Queyrat.

Risk Factors

Most common risk factor in the development of erythroplasia of Queyrat is uncircumcised penis. Other common risk factors in the development of erythroplasia of Queyrat include:[8] [9]


There is insufficient evidence to recommend routine screening for erythroplasia of Queyrat.[10]

Natural History, Complications, and Prognosis


Diagnostic Study of Choice

Delay in diagnosis of more than 1 year has been observed in 15% to 20% of patients, the reasons usually being embarrassment, guilt, fear, personal neglect, or ignorance.

History and Symptoms

  • The hallmark of erythroplasia of Queyrat is a red, velvety appearing rash beneath the penile foreskin."Precancerous conditions of the penis - Canadian Cancer Society".
  • The lesions are usually solitary and occasionally erode or ulcerate, but pain is uncommon.
  • A positive history of lack of circumcision and lesion growth are suggestive of erythroplasia of Queyrat.
  • The most common symptoms of this precancerous condition include:

Penile Skin Changes

Genitourinary Changes

Physical Examination

  • The physician will then perform a physical examination of the genital area for possible signs of penile cancer or other health problems.
  • Penile lesions (sores) usually affect the skin on the penis.
  • This is followed by examination and palpation of the lymph nodes in patient's groin to see if they are swollen.
  • If symptoms and/or the exam suggest you might have penile cancer, other tests will be needed. These might include a biopsy and imaging tests.
  • Patients with erythroplasia of Queyrat usually appear red, velvety appearing rash beneath the penile foreskin.
  • Physical examination of patients with erythroplasia of Queyrat is usually remarkable for penile skin changes including red, ulcerating, bleeding, and indurated lesion on the glans or red vegetating mass on the glans.

Laboratory Findings

There are no diagnostic laboratory findings associated with erythroplasia of Queyrat.


Medical Therapy


Surgery is the mainstay treatment of choice for erythroplasia of Queyrat, and is often the only treatment needed for early stage penile cancers. Although, authors have used 5% 5-FU cream with some success.


There are no established measures for the prevention of erythroplasia of Queyrat.


  1. Weidner, Noel (2009). Modern surgical pathology. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders/Elsevier. ISBN 9781437719581.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hakenberg, Oliver W.; Compérat, Eva M.; Minhas, Suks; Necchi, Andrea; Protzel, Chris; Watkin, Nick (2015). "EAU Guidelines on Penile Cancer: 2014 Update". European Urology. 67 (1): 142–150. doi:10.1016/j.eururo.2014.10.017. ISSN 0302-2838.
  3. Lynch DF Jr. Cancer of the Penis. In: Kufe DW, Pollock RE, Weichselbaum RR, et al., editors. Holland-Frei Cancer Medicine. 6th edition. Hamilton (ON): BC Decker; 2003. Available from:
  4. Marks, James G; Miller, Jeffery (2006). Lookingbill and Marks' Principles of Dermatology (4th ed.). Elsevier Inc. Page 63. ISBN 1-4160-3185-5.
  5. Clark PE, Spiess PE, Agarwal N, Biagioli MC, Eisenberger MA, Greenberg RE; et al. (2013). "Penile cancer: Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology". J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 11 (5): 594–615. PMC 4042432. PMID 23667209.
  6. Brady, Kimberly L.; Mercurio, Mary Gail; Brown, Marc D. (2013). "Malignant Tumors of the Penis". Dermatologic Surgery. 39 (4): 527–547. doi:10.1111/dsu.12029. ISSN 1076-0512.
  7. Bleeker MC, Heideman DA, Snijders PJ, Horenblas S, Dillner J, Meijer CJ (2009). "Penile cancer: epidemiology, pathogenesis and prevention". World J Urol. 27 (2): 141–50. doi:10.1007/s00345-008-0302-z. PMID 18607597.
  8. Bleeker, M. C. G.; Heideman, D. A. M.; Snijders, P. J. F.; Horenblas, S.; Dillner, J.; Meijer, C. J. L. M. (2008). "Penile cancer: epidemiology, pathogenesis and prevention". World Journal of Urology. 27 (2): 141–150. doi:10.1007/s00345-008-0302-z. ISSN 0724-4983.
  9. Douglawi, Antoin; Masterson, Timothy A. (2017). "Updates on the epidemiology and risk factors for penile cancer". Translational Andrology and Urology. 6 (5): 785–790. doi:10.21037/tau.2017.05.19. ISSN 2223-4683.
  10. Salami, Simpa S.; Montgomery, Jeffrey S. (2017). "Surveillance strategies in the management of penile cancer". Translational Andrology and Urology. 6 (5): 868–873. doi:10.21037/tau.2017.06.04. ISSN 2223-4683.
  11. Schlenker, Boris; Schneede, Peter (2019). "The Role of Human Papilloma Virus in Penile Cancer Prevention and New Therapeutic Agents". European Urology Focus. 5 (1): 42–45. doi:10.1016/j.euf.2018.09.010. ISSN 2405-4569.
  12. Damjanov, Ivan (2009). "The Male Genital System": 329–338. doi:10.1016/B978-0-323-05594-9.00016-7.
  13. Choi, Jee Woong; Choi, Mira; Cho, Kwang Hyun (2009). "A Case of Erythroplasia of Queyrat Treated with Imiquimod 5% Cream and Excision". Annals of Dermatology. 21 (4): 419. doi:10.5021/ad.2009.21.4.419. ISSN 1013-9087.
  14. Antônio, João Roberto; Antônio, Carlos Roberto; Trídico, Lívia Arroyo; Alves, Fernanda Tomé; Rollemberg, Ivan (2016). "Erythroplasia of Queyrat treated with topical 5-fluorouracil". Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia. 91 (5 suppl 1): 42–44. doi:10.1590/abd1806-4841.20164595. ISSN 0365-0596.