Onycholemmal carcinoma

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A 70-year-old Japanese man presented with a 5-year history of refractory indolent onycholysis of the little finger of the right hand. Roentgenograms did not show involvement of the bone. Histological examination revealed an epithelial tumor consisting of lobular masses varying in size. The tumor was composed of keratinocytes varying in atypicality and showed infiltrative growth into the dermis but not into the phalangeal bone. The tumor had cystic structures composed of eosinophilic amorphous keratin and a surrounding thin layer of keratinocytes. Characteristically, the epithelium in the center of the tumor abruptly changed into amorphous keratin without the formation of intervening keratohyaline granules. From these findings, the mass was diagnosed as onycholemmal carcinoma. Immunohistochemically, the tumor showed a keratin profile comparable to that of the nail bed epithelium and a smaller number of Ki-67-positive proliferating tumor cells compared with those of a previous case of onycholemmal carcinoma.

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