Head and Neck Oncology


Upile T, Jerjes W, Sipaul F, Sandison A, Kafas P, Al-Khawalde M, Radhi H. A patient with ulcerated calcifying epithelioma of Malherbe in the pinna: case report. Head Neck Oncol. 2012 May 21;4(1):25.



Although pilomatrixomas are frequently encountered by dermatologists and pathologists in the differential diagnosis of head and neck lesions, this is not usually the case among head and neck surgeons.

A pilomatrixoma (calcifying epithelioma of Malherbe) is a benign tumour of the hair matrix cells. Histologically it is characterised by the presence of ghost cells, basophilic cells and foreign body cells. It may sometimes be difficult to histologically distinguish it from its malignant counterpart, the pilomatrix carcinoma.

We report an interesting case of an ulcerated pilomatrixoma of the pinna in a middle-aged Caucasian female.

Case presentation

A 46-year-old Caucasian female presented with a one-month history of tender brownish lump on the pinna. Initially it was thought to represent a pyogenic granuloma. The lesion was treated by wide circular excision. Histopathological evaluation reported a benign calcifying epithelioma of Malherbe.


A search of the world’s literature has led us to believe that this is a rare case of a calcifying epithelioma of Malherbe of the pinna. The rapid growth and ulcerative nature of this tumour makes this case even more unique.

Corresponding Author

Tahwinder Upile (mrtupile@yahoo.com) - Hani Radhi (hani_hadi79@hotmail.com)