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Osteomas of the Skin Revisited: A Clinicopathologic Review of 74 Cases

Conlin, Phillip A. M.D.; Jimenez-Quintero, Laura P. M.D.; Rapini, Ronald P. M.D.

The American Journal of Dermatopathology: December 2002 - Volume 24 - Issue 6 - p 479-483
Original Articles

Cutaneous ossification is an unusual event that may be primary or secondary to either inflammatory or neoplastic processes. It is classified as primary when it occurs in the absence of a demonstrable preexisting lesion. Secondary lesions have been most commonly reported occurring with pilomatricoma, basal cell carcinoma, acne vulgaris, and melanocytic nevi (nevus of Nanta). Histologically, the osteomas are composed of well-formed bony spicules with prominent cement lines and calcification. They may demonstrate osteoblasts, osteoclasts, and osteocytes and occasionally may even demonstrate bone marrow elements. We searched the files of a reference dermatopathology laboratory to identify cases of either primary or secondary cutaneous ossification. We present a series of 74 cases of primary and secondary cutaneous ossification. Most cases were secondary in nature. Lesions were more common on the head and neck and in whites. Lesions were also more commonly identified in female patients. In addition, included in our series are 19 cases of nevus of Nanta. To our knowledge, this represents the largest series of such cases in the English literature. Cutaneous ossification is seen both in primary and, more commonly, in secondary conditions involving the skin. Benign neoplasms, especially melanocytic nevi, represent the most common cause of secondary osteoma formation. Women are more commonly affected than men, but the reason for this is unclear. The exact reason why osteoma formation occurs is unclear and requires further study.

From DX Laboratory, Incorporated, Midland (P.A.C.), Memorial Hospital The Woodlands, The Woodlands (L.P.J.-Q.), and Departments of Dermatology and Pathology, Texas Tech Medical Center, Lubbock (R.P.R.), Texas.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Phillip A. Conlin, M.D., 2203 West Tennessee Street, Midland, TX 79701. E-mail:

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.