Pilomatrix carcinoma: a clinicopathologic study of six cases and review of the literature

D Hardisson, M D Linares, J Cuevas-Santos, F Contreras
American Journal of Dermatopathology 2001, 23 (5): 394-401
Pilomatrix carcinoma, the malignant variant of pilomatrixoma, is a rare entity. The authors report on six patients with pilomatrix carcinoma and review the pertinent literature. The lesions showed a predilection for elderly individuals (mean age, 61 years) with a male:female ratio of 5:1, and they presented as dermal or subcutaneous tumors located on the head and neck (5 neoplasms) and chest (1 neoplasm). Tumors varied in size from 0.6 cm to 2.5 cm (mean, 1.78 cm). None of the lesions recurred after wide local excision. On scanning magnification, all tumors showed the architectural features of a malignant neoplasm (asymmetry and poor circumscription, presence of several markedly sized and variably shaped basaloid aggregations, and ulceration). The tumors were composed of pleomorphic basaloid cells with prominent nucleoli and frequent atypical mitoses accompanied by central areas with keratotic material, shadow cells, and foci of necrosis. The tumor nests were surrounded by a desmoplastic stroma and infiltrated the adjacent tissues. Vascular or perineural infiltration was not observed. In one case, the basaloid cells contained abundant melanin pigment in their cytoplasms. Pilomatrix carcinoma is a neoplasm of low-grade malignancy that should be distinguished from the conventional pilomatrixoma and its variants (aggressive pilomatrixoma and proliferating pilomatrixoma), matricoma, and basal cell carcinoma with matrical differentiation. Clinicians and pathologists should be aware of the occurrence of pilomatrix carcinoma because of its potential for distant metastases.

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