Pavithra, Bhagat, and Bhalla: Trichoadenoma of vulva: A rare case with rare site of presentation

Case History

A 47-year-old female presented with a well-defined skin colored non-tender asymptomatic nodule of 1x1cm over the vulva for almost one year. There was no history of any sexually transmitted disease. General physical examination was within normal limits and there was no inguinal lymphadenopathy. Haemotological and biochemical investigations were within normal limits. Serological tests for syphilis and HIV were non reactive. The clinical possibilities considered were inclusion cyst and skin tag. The nodule was excised and sent for histopathology. (Figure 1)

The sample was processed for routine histopathological examination. The hematoxylin and eosin stained sections were examined under light microscopy. The epidermis was relatively unremarkable. Dermis shows numerous horn cysts lined by multiple layers of eosinophilic cells. There was attempted gland formation at places. Some of the cysts were dilated. Few islands of eosinophilic cells without keratinization are seen. Occasional cysts showed presence of granular layer between the keratin and eosinophilic cells. One of the cysts ruptured eliciting lymphohistiocytic reaction in the surrounding area. (Figure 2) There were no basaloid cells surrounding the eosinophilic cells. There were no hair shafts.

Figure 1

Skin colored nodule of 1x1cm over the vulva
Figure 2

Photomicrographs H&E stain sections oftrichoadenoma. [A] 4X objective: normal epidermis, islands of eosinophilic cells without keratinization in dermis. [B] 10x objective: horncysts with layers of eosinophilic cells. [C] and [D]. 20x objective: of the same.


Adnexal tumors of skin are an interesting and complex entity in dermatopathology. It is important to differentiate the adnexal tumors as benign and malignant and also differentiate them from the epidermal and epithelial tumors. Hair follicle and its pilosebaceous unit are adnexal structures with different group of tumors. This group comprises of various tumors with differentiation towards hair structure. Trichoadenoma is one among them which is also know as trichoadenoma of Nikolowski.1, 2, 3, 4

Its common presentation is on face and buttocks in adults with more than 50% cases occurring over the face. Other common sites are thigh, shoulder and neck.3, 5

Trichoadenoma commonly presents as a skin colored lesion. The histopathology will be similar to that of our case. In addition, rare islands may show granular layer with keratohyaline granules.1, 2, 3

Absence of basaloid cells around the eosinophilic cells differentiates it from the trichoepithelioma and absence of hair shaft differentiates it from trichofolliculoma. Trichoblastoma is another benign adnexal tumor with differentiation towards hair structure composed of islands of basaloid cells without connection with the overlying epidermis. Trichoadenoma, at times may be difficult to differentiate from keratotic basal cell carcinoma in exceptional cases. A careful and thorough microscopic examination of the tissue should help differentiate them.

Source of Funding

No financial support was received for the work within this manuscript.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.



C L Stewart R A Novoa J T Seykora D E Elder R Elenitsas M Rosenbach GF Murphy AI Rubin Tumors of epidermal appendagesLever’s histopathology of the skin. 11th Edn.Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer20152012182


DSK Swaroop BA Ramakrishna SJ Bai V Shanthi Trichoadenoma of NikolowskiIndian J Pathol Microbiol2008512277910.4103/0377-4929.41695


A Sangwaiya S Bairwa S Kalhan P Sharma R N Satarkar Trichoadenoma of Nikolowski - A rare tumour with unusual presentation over vulvaJ Clin Diagn Res201711156


W Undeutsch G Rassner Trichoadenoma (Nikolowski). A clinical and histologic case reportHautarzt198435126502


I Shimanovich D Krahl C Rose Trichoadenoma of Nikolowski is a distinct neoplasm within the spectrum of follicular tumorsJ Am Acad Dermatol20106222778310.1016/j.jaad.2009.06.086


© 2021 Published by Innovative Publication Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (

  • Article highlights
  • Article tables
  • Article images

View Article

PDF File   Full Text Article


PDF File   XML File   ePub File

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Article DOI

Article Metrics

Article Access statistics

Viewed: 21

PDF Downloaded: 4