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An 18-month-old girl presented with a 1-year history of a slow-growing mass in the right earlobe. There were no symptoms, such as tenderness or discharge, associated with the mass. She had no history of underlying medical disease or trauma. On physical examination, a 1.5 × 1.0–cm, firm, nodular, angulated, pinkish, nontender mass was observed in the posterior aspect of the right earlobe (Figure, A). The skin over the mass was semitransparent, and the mass moved freely beneath the skin. Under suspicion of a tumorous lesion, complete excision was performed after the patient received general anesthesia. Histopathologic findings were characteristic for 2 cell types; basaloid cells with a nucleus were present in the periphery, and ghost cells without a nucleus were present in the center (Figure, B). Six months after surgery, the wound had healed well, and there has been no recurrence.
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Pilomatricoma is a benign tumor that originates from hair follicle matrix cells.1- 7 It occurs frequently during the first 2 decades of life, especially in children 10 years or younger, and appears more in females than in males.1,3,6- 8 The head and neck are the most commonly involved regions, particularly the neck and preauricular regions.1,3,6,8 Pilomatricoma is rare in the auricle.3,6
Pilomatricoma was first described by Malherbe and Chenantais as a benign neoplasm of the sebaceous gland in 1880 and was named calcifying epithelioma of Malherbe.1,3,5,8 In 1942, the tumor was thought to originate from hair cortex cells, and, in 1961, the term pilomatrixoma was proposed to describe its origin in the hair follicle matrix by Forbis and Helwig. The term was modified to pilomatricoma in 1977.3
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Corresponding Author: Hyun Seung Choi, MD, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, National Health Insurance Service Ilsan Hospital, 100 Ilsan-ro, Ilsandong-gu, Goyang 10444, Korea (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Published Online: July 8, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2021.1441
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.
Additional Contributions: We thank the patient’s mother for granting permission to publish this information.
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