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In 1991, the World Health Organization defined hamartomas as anomalies characterized by the formation of a tumorlike mass composed of identical mature cellular tissue elements that are normally present where the mass is found but that occur in abnormal proportions or patterns.1 A hamartoma does not have the capability of continuous growth or recurrence and is composed of a single germ layer, distinguishing it from a true neoplasm and a teratoma, respectively. It is also distinct from a choristoma because it is composed of tissue elements that are normally found in the region. Finally, because this type of focal overgrowth does not produce the normal architecture of the surrounding tissues, hamartomas should be further differentiated from hyperplasia.1
Buckmire RA, Kwon T. Bilateral Obstructing Laryngeal Epithelial Adenomatous Hamartomas. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2005;131(3):259–261. doi:10.1001/archotol.131.3.259
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