International Journal of Trichology

: 2011  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 123--124

Elevated yellow nodule over the scalp in a middle-aged man

Mani Anand, Sanjay D Deshmukh, Harveen K Gulati 
 Department of Pathology, Smt. Kashibai Navale Medical College and General Hospital, Narhe, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Mani Anand
Department of Pathology, Smt. Kashibai Navale Medical College and General Hospital, Narhe, Off Pune-Mumbai Bypass, Pune - 411 041, Maharashtra

How to cite this article:
Anand M, Deshmukh SD, Gulati HK. Elevated yellow nodule over the scalp in a middle-aged man.Int J Trichol 2011;3:123-124

How to cite this URL:
Anand M, Deshmukh SD, Gulati HK. Elevated yellow nodule over the scalp in a middle-aged man. Int J Trichol [serial online] 2011 [cited 2021 Mar 9 ];3:123-124
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Full Text


A 36-year-old man presented to the surgical OPD with a gradually increasing painless swelling over the scalp for past two years. On local examination, a 2.5×1 cm yellow elevated nodule with a circumscribed margin [Figure 1] was seen on the frontal region of the scalp. The nodule was non-motile and non-tender. The lesion was excised and sent for histopathological examination. Microscopic examination revealed a tumor comprised of incompletely differentiated sebaceous lobules of varying shapes and sizes. Two cell types were identified within the lobules-central mature sebaceous cells and peripheral undifferentiated basaloid cells. There was no evidence of atypia or invasion [Figure 2],[Figure 3],[Figure 4],[Figure 5].{Figure 1}{Figure 2}{Figure 3}{Figure 4}{Figure 5}

 What is your Diagnosis ?

Sebaceous carcinoma (SC)Sebaceous epithelioma (SE)Sebaceous adenoma (SA)Sebaceous hyperplasia (SH)

Answer: (c), Sebaceous adenoma

Sebaceous neoplasms are rare adnexal tumors that present a complex challenge to the clinician. Their nature and the wide spectrum of lesions lead to confusion regarding many facets including their nomenclature and treatment. [1]

SA is a rare epithelial neoplasm with a predilection for the forehead and scalp. Occasional cases have been reported at rare sites like oral cavity. [2] It usually presents as a raised yellow circumscribed nodule or papule. [3] In terms of differentiation, SA stands between SH, in which sebaceous lobules appear fully mature and SE which is comprised of less than 50% mature sebaceous cells. SA and SE lack nuclear atypia and invasive, asymmetric growth patterns, which are hallmarks of SC. [3] SC shows increased expression of proliferation markers like p53 and Ki-67, whereas SA shows increased bcl-2 expression. [4] SA is the most distinctive cutaneous marker of Muir-Torre Syndrome, which is characterized by the combined occurrence of at least one sebaceous skin tumor and one internal malignancy (colon/genitourinary tract/breast) in the same patient. [3] Hence, patients with SA should be evaluated for internal malignancy. Surgical excision forms the treatment of choice; however, topical photodynamic therapy is being tried currently. [5]


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2Kaminagakura E, Andrade CR, Rangel AL, Coletta RD, Graner E, Almeida OP, et al. Sebaceous adenoma of oral cavity: Report of case and comparative proliferation study with sebaceous gland hyperplasia and Fordyce's granules. Oral Dis 2003;9:323-7.
3Klein W, Chan E, Seykora JT. Tumors of the epidermal appendages. In: Elder DE, Elenitsas, Johnson BL, Murphy GF editors. Lever's histopathology of the skin. 9 th ed. Philadelphia; Lippincot Williams and Wilkins; 2005. p. 867-926.
4Cabral ES, Auerbach A, Killian JK, Barrett TL, Cassarino DS. Distinction of benign sebaceous proliferations from sebaceous carcinomas by immunohistochemistry. Am J Dermatopathol 2006;28:465-71.
5Kim SK, Lee JY, Kim YC. Treatment of sebaceous adenoma with topical photodynamic therapy. Arch Dermatol. 2010;146:1186-8.