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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 218-219

Glomus tumor occuring in male breast - An unusual site of presentation

1 Department of Pathology, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, AMU, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of General Surgery, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, AMU, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication23-Aug-2010

Correspondence Address:
G Mehdi
Department of Pathology, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, AMU, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0022-3859.68638

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How to cite this article:
Mehdi G, Siddiqui F A, Ansari H A, Mansoor T. Glomus tumor occuring in male breast - An unusual site of presentation. J Postgrad Med 2010;56:218-9

How to cite this URL:
Mehdi G, Siddiqui F A, Ansari H A, Mansoor T. Glomus tumor occuring in male breast - An unusual site of presentation. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 2010 [cited 2022 Jul 2];56:218-9. Available from:

Glomus tumors are benign neoplasms arising from modified smooth muscle cells located in the walls of specialized arteriovenous anastomoses, fulfilling a temperature regulatory function. [1]

The breast is an extremely rare location for glomus tumor. A similar case has been reported recently in a female patient. [2] However, to the best of our knowledge, no such case has been reported in the male breast.

A 25-year-old male presented with a painful nodule in the right breast for the past one month. On examination, the mass was tender, firm, about 1 cm in diameter, located in the upper inner quadrant. Overlying skin was normal. The mass was excised and submitted for histopathological examination. Grossly, it was smooth, grayish white in color. Microscopic examination revealed anastomosing nests and sheets of tumor cells surrounding dilated vascular spaces [Figure 1]. The tumor cells were uniformly monotonous with oval to round hyperchromatic nuclei, homogeneous chromatin and scant eosinophilic cytoplasm [Figure 2]a. No cellular atypia or mitoses were observed. Periodic Acid Schiff (PAS) stain demonstrated the presence of basal lamina material around the cells [Figure 2]b. On the basis of these findings, a diagnosis of glomus tumor was rendered.
Figure 1 :Glomus tumor: solid proliferation of cells with interspersed blood vessels (H and E, ×125)

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Figure 2 :(a) Section showing monotonous tumor cells with round nuclei and eosinophilic cytoplasm (H and E × 250). (b) Glomus tumor: section showing basal lamina material around tumor cells (PAS × 250)

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Glomus tumors were first described by Masson in the year 1924. [3] These are commonly seen in young adults, located in the subungual regions of the finger, palm, wrist, forearm and foot, as well as in unusual sites. [4]

Though usually benign, some aggressive variants have also been reported. [5] The new WHO classification categorizes these tumors into glomus tumor, glomus tumor of uncertain malignant potential and malignant glomus tumor. [6] The diagnostic criteria of malignancy includes (i) size greater than 2 cm and a subfascial location, (ii) atypical mitotic figures and (iii) moderate-to-high nuclear grade and five or more mitotic figures per 50 high-power fields. [5]

Special stains like PAS and immunohistochemistry are useful in confirming the diagnosis. [6]

The differential diagnosis of glomus tumor includes cutaneous adnexal neoplasms like eccrine spiradenoma, intradermal nevus with pseudovascular spaces, simple cavernous hemangioma, and carcinoid tumor.

In the light of its varied differential diagnoses, the possibility of a glomus tumor should be kept in mind, even in tumors which occur at sites where glomus cells are sparse or unrecognized.

 :: References Top

1.Calonje E, Fletcher CD. Tumors of the blood vessels and lymphatics. In: Fletcher CD, editor. Diagnostic histopathology of tumors. 2 nd ed. Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone; 2005. p. 75-7.  Back to cited text no. 1      
2.Yalcin S, Ergul E, Ucar AE, Ulger BV, Korukluoglu B. Glomus tumor of the breast: First report. Langerbecks Arch Surg 2009;394:399-400.  Back to cited text no. 2      
3.Masson P. Le glomus neuromyoarterial des regions tαctiles et ses tumeurs. Lyon Chir 1924;21:257-80.  Back to cited text no. 3      
4.Weiss SW, Goldblum JR. Perivascular Tumors. In: Enzinger FM, Weiss SW, editors. Soft Tissue Tumors. 4 th ed. St Louis, Mo: Mosby; 2001. p. 985-1001.  Back to cited text no. 4      
5.Folpe AL, Fanburg-Smith JC, Miettinen M, Weiss SW. Atypical and malignant glomus tumors: Analysis of 52 cases, with a proposal for the reclassification of glomus tumors. Am J Surg Pathol 2001;25:1-12.  Back to cited text no. 5      
6.Folpe AL. Glomus tumors. In: Fletcher CD, Unni KK, Mertens F, editors. World Health Organization Classification of Tumors: Pathology and Genetics of Tumors of Soft Tissue and Bone. Lyon, France: IARC Press; 2002. p. 136-7.  Back to cited text no. 6      


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

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