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April 1961

Pilomatrixoma (Calcifying Epithelioma)

Author Affiliations


From the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.

Earl D. Osborne Fellow in Dermal Pathology of the American Academy of Dermatology and Syphilology at time of writing; now Chief of Dermatology, U.S. Naval Hospital, Camp Pendleton, Calif. (Dr. Forbis). Chief, Department of Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (Dr. Helwig).

Arch Dermatol. 1961;83(4):606-618. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580100070009

Introduction  Solitary asymptomatic nodules in the skin often are given a vague provisional clinical diagnosis such as "sebaceous cyst." Occasionally such a "cyst," when examined histologically, proves to be a calcifying epithelioma, a designation not indicating its benign nature. The name has persisted, however, due to the lack of information on the histogenesis. Much of the information about this lesion is from continental Europe, although recently scattered reports have occurred in the English literature. In 1954 Castigliano and Rominger1 noted that 243 cases had been reported since 1880. Since that time about 60 more have been recorded.In view of the obvious inadequacies of the term "calcifying epithelioma," the name "pilomatrixoma" is suggested. This name may be offensive to the language-purist, but it has the advantage of conveying the histogenesis of the tumor and avoids the use of the word "epithelioma," which generally indicates a malignant tumor.It is

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