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November 1964

Cutaneous Remnants Of the Omphalomesenteric Duct

Author Affiliations


From the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.

Fellow in Dermal Pathology (Major Steck); Chief of the Department of Pathology (Dr. Helwig).

Arch Dermatol. 1964;90(5):463-470. doi:10.1001/archderm.1964.01600050011003

The omphalomesenteric duct is a tubular structure that links the primitive gut to the yolk sac of the embryo. Although it normally disappears from the body of the embryo after a few weeks, all or a portion of the duct may persist and provide a variety of anomalous conditions. Cutaneous remnants of the duct occur in the skin of the umbilicus and consist of ectopic tissue resembling that of the gastrointestinal tract. These lesions are frequently accompanied by potentially serious internal anomalies and thus have considerable warning value. They may be distinguished from the common umbilical granulations of the newborn by their clinical and histologic characteristics. The clinicopathologic features of 40 examples of cutaneous omphalomesenteric duct remnants were studied at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. The majority of patients were infants, but 14 were adults who had had symptoms all their lives. Three patients had patent intestinal-umbilical fistula. Those three and 13 others in the group had exploratory surgery. Ten of the 16 had internal omphalomesenteric remnants.

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