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IP Archives of Cytology and Histopathology Research

Malherbe’s Masquerade

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Case Report

Author Details : Archana Hilda Fernandes*, Crysle Saldanha, Christol Moras

Volume : 5, Issue : 2, Year : 2020

Article Page : 159-162

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Introduction: Pilomatricoma, also known as calcifying epithelioma of Malherbe, was first described
by Malherbe and Chenantais in 1880. It was described as a benign cutaneous tumour arising from the
sebaceous glands. In 1961, its classical histopathological characteristics of epithelial cells and shadow cells
were documented and hence, it was renamed as Pilomatricoma to be correct etymologically.
Case Report: A 47 year old male was referred to the cytology lab from the general surgery outpatient
department for a fine needle aspiration with a history of a swelling on the right side of the neck since 1
year which was gradually progressive in size, no pain/discharge. A clinical diagnosis of? sebaceous cyst
was provided.On examination, solitary swelling on the right side of the neck, 5 cm below the angle of the
mandible, measuring 1.5x1 cm, firm in consistency, well defined with a smooth surface and mild erythema.
Skin over the swelling – pinchable.
Fine needle aspiration was performed and on microscopy, the smears obtained were highly cellular and
showed tight clusters of basaloid cells and few were singly dispersed. This was admixed with keratin flakes
and few shadow cells, background also showed occasional multinucleate giant cells. A diagnosis of Benign
adnexal tumour morphology favouring pilomatricoma was given.
Following the Fine needle Aspiration cytology report, he underwent an excision biopsy. Grossly - skin
covered nodular tissue bit, cut surface - grey white areas with specs of calcification. Microscopically, an
encapsulated lesion composed of basaloid cells undergoing abrupt transition to the formation of shadow
cells with central clearing, mixed inflammatory infiltrate and foreign body giant cells.A diagnosis of
Pilomatricoma was made.
Conclusion: Pilomatricoma (PMC) is a relatively uncommon benign skin neoplasm arising from the skin
adnexa. Although there has been a gradual increase in the understanding of its clinical presentation and
morphological features however, difficulties still persist in making a cytologic diagnosis. The purpose of
this case report is to create awareness about the cytological features of pilomatricoma.

Keywords: Cytology of Pilomatricoma, Benign cutaneous tumour, adnexal tumour.

Doi : 10.18231/j.achr.2020.032

How to cite : Fernandes A H, Saldanha C, Moras C, Malherbe’s Masquerade. IP Arch Cytol Histopathol Res 2020;5(2):159-162

Copyright © 2020 by author(s) and IP Arch Cytol Histopathol Res. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY-NC 4.0) (