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 Table of Contents  
CLINICAL CHALLENGE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 98-99  

Multiple firm mobile swellings over the scalp


Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, SBMP Medical College, Hospital and Research Center, BLDE University, Bijapur, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication1-Jun-2012

Correspondence Address:
Arun C Inamadar
Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, SBMP Medical College, Hospital and Research Center, BLDE University, Bijapur - 586 103, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-7753.96906

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How to cite this article:
Adya KA, Inamadar AC, Palit A. Multiple firm mobile swellings over the scalp. Int J Trichol 2012;4:98-9

How to cite this URL:
Adya KA, Inamadar AC, Palit A. Multiple firm mobile swellings over the scalp. Int J Trichol [serial online] 2012 [cited 2019 Nov 21];4:98-9. Available from: http://www.ijtrichology.com/text.asp?2012/4/2/98/96906


   Introduction Top


A 30-year-old female presented with multiple, asymptomatic swellings over the scalp [Figure 1] since the past 1 year. Initially, patient noticed a small pea-sized swelling over the vertex, which gradually increased in size and similar lesions developed over different areas of the scalp. The lesions were mostly asymptomatic except for occasional pain due to trauma induced by combing. There was no history of preceding trauma and none of the other family members had a similar complaint. Clinical examination revealed eight firm, well-defined swellings located discretely over the vertex, parietal, and occipital regions of the scalp. They were freely mobile, non-tender with normal overlying skin and hair. Excision biopsy of one of the lesions was performed under local anesthesia and histopathological examination revealed a cystic lesion with central eosinophilic homogenous mass lined by an epithelium [Figure 2]. The lining epithelium showed 2-3-layered cells which were flatter and more eosinophilic at the base and, larger and paler toward the cyst cavity [Figure 3].
Figure 1: Firm mobile nodules (arrows pointing) over vertex (a) and parietal (b) regions

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Figure 2: Central homogenous mass with lining epithelium (H and E, 10×)

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Figure 3: Lining epithelium with smaller, deeply staining cells at the base and larger, paler cells nearing the cyst cavity (H and E, 40×)

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   What is your Diagnosis? Top


Diagnosis

Trichilemmal cysts (pilar cysts)


   Discussion Top


Trichilemmal cysts are benign cystic lesions that are filled with keratinous material and lined by epithelium derived from outer root sheath (ORS). [1],[2] They affect 5 to 10% of the population with a female preponderance. [3] Familial cases with an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance have been seen with linkages to short arm of chromosome 3. [4],[5] They have quite a resemblance to epidermoid cysts. However, these lesions are less common than epidermoid cysts and differ in their location. Trichilemmal cysts arise from the epithelium of follicular isthmus, where the inner root sheath is shed off and the ORS (trichilemma) undergoes a specific form of keratinization (trichilemmal keratinization) forming a cyst wall without a granular layer. [3] Ninety percent of the trichilemmal cysts occur over the scalp and rarely the face, trunk, and extremities may be involved. Majority of the patients have multiple cysts. Solitary lesions are seen only in 30% of cases. [6] They present as slow-growing, freely mobile, firm, non-tender nodules scattered over the scalp. Unlike epidermoid cysts, no punctum is seen. They may become inflamed and tender following trauma. Rapid growth and ulceration indicate malignant degeneration which although, is rare. Histopathologically, the lesion is comprised of a cyst wall containing homogenously eosinophilic material composed of keratin and cellular debris. Intervening basophilic areas may be seen in older lesions indicating calcification. Cholesterol clefts are often present. The hallmark diagnostic feature is in the lining epithelium. The cells of the lining epithelium gradually increase in size as they approach the cyst cavity appearing swollen with pale cytoplasm. At this point, they abruptly keratinize without forming a granular layer. Some lesions may show focal changes of an epidermoid cyst, with formation of a granular cell layer, known as hybrid cysts. Immunohistochemically, the central keratinous mass stain for anti-keratin antibodies derived from human hair, in contrast to epidermoid cysts, which stain with anti-keratin antibodies obtained from human callus. Electron microscopy of the lining of trichilemmal cysts shows that on their way from the periphery toward the cavity, the epithelial cells have an increasing number of intracellular filaments. There is an abrupt transition from nucleate to anucleate cells with the loss of all cytoplasmic organelles. The junction between the keratinizing and keratinized cells shows interdigitations. The keratinized cells are filled with tonofilaments and, unlike those in epidermoid cysts, retain their desmosomal connections. [7] Simple excision is the treatment of choice. As the cysts are firmer than epidermoid cysts, the lesions can be enucleated with smaller incisions. [3] Excised lesions may recur. [6]

 
   References Top

1.McGauran MH, Binnington B. Keratinous cysts of the skin: Identification and differentiation of pilar cysts from epidermal cysts. Arch Dermatol 1966;94:499-508.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Pinkus H. Sebaceous cysts are trichilemmal cysts. Arch Dermatol 1969;99:544-5.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Thomas VD, Swanson NA, Lee KK. Benign epithelial tumors, hamartomas and hyperplasias. In: Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, Katz SI, Gilchrest BA, Paller AS, Leffell DJ, editors. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 7 th ed. Vol. 1, Chapter 118, USA: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. p. 1054-67.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Leppard BJ, Sanderson KV, Wells RS. Hereditary trichilemmal cysts. Clin Exp Dermatol 1977;2:23-32.   Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.Eiberg H, Hansen L, Hansen C, Mohr J, Teglbjaerg PS, Kjaer KW. Mapping of hereditary trichilemmal cyst (TRICY1) to chromosome 3p24-p21.2 and exclusion of beta-CATENIN and MLH1. Am J Med Genet A. 2005;133A(1):44-7.   Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.Leppard BJ, Sanderson KV. The natural history of trichilemmal cysts. Br J Dermatol 1976;94:379.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.Eiberg H, Hansen L, Hansen C, Mohr J, Teglbjaerg PS, Kjaer KW. Mapping of hereditary trichilemmal cyst (TRICY1) to chromosome 3p24-p21.2 and exclusion of beta-CATENIN and MLH1. Am J Med Genet A 2005;133A:44-7.  Back to cited text no. 7
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]


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[Pubmed]



 

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