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Residents Page: Pathology
June 1998

Pathologic Quiz Case 1

Author Affiliations


Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1998;124(6):716. doi:10.1001/archotol.124.6.714

A choristoma is a histologically benign tissue proliferation occurring at an abnormal site. These tissue problems may form a cohesive mass of aberrant or heterotopic tissue or take the form of scattered, normal-appearing cells found in inappropriate locations. Synonyms for these ectopic rests include choristoma, aberrant rest, ectopia, and heterotopia. Fordyce granules (sebaceous glands at various sites in the oral cavity) are a well-known example of a choristoma. In contrast, a hamartoma represents focal overgrowth of mature cells and tissues indigenous to a specific anatomic area, although this does not reproduce the usual tissue architecture.1 A teratoma is composed of a variety of tissue types representing all 3 germ layers; therefore, it exemplifies a true neoplasm. In the head and neck, the most common locations for teratomas are the nasopharynx and soft tissues of the neck.2