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Year : 2001  |  Volume : 67  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 266

Embryonic tail

Department of Skin, STD & Leprosy SBMP Medical College, Bijapur-586 103, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Department of Skin, STD & Leprosy SBMP Medical College, Bijapur-586 103, Karnataka, India


An 8 - year- old male child with congenital, pedunculated, tail - like lesion in lumbosacral area is reported. Surgical, excision was done, as there were no radiological abnormalities underneath.

How to cite this article:
Inamadar AC. Embryonic tail. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2001;67:266

How to cite this URL:
Inamadar AC. Embryonic tail. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol [serial online] 2001 [cited 2020 Aug 9];67:266. Available from:

   Introduction Top

A congenital pedunculated, tail -like lesion attached to the sacrum is characteristic of a 'human tail'.[1] A variety of tumors and cysts like hamartomas, teratomas, lipomas and lipomyelomeningocoeles, ependymomas, angiomatous naevi, non neoplastic perirectal inflammatory conditions, giant cell tumors of sarcum are seen over lumbosacral area.[2]
In the present communication a boy with a 'human tail' is reported.

   Case Report Top

A male child aged 8 years presented to skin OPD for itchy skin lesion over the lumbosacral area. There was history of application of some 'native' medicine at the base of 'tail' - like lesion over back, which was present since birth. Cutaneous examination revealed a 2 inch long soft pedunculated lesion, surrounding area had few crusted papules and plaques [Figure - 1]. Other system examination including CNS did not reveal any abnormality clinically. A clinical diagnosis of embryonal tail with contact dermatitis was made. Routine blood and urine examination findings were within normal limit. X-ray of lumbosacral area did not reveal any spinal defect. Surgical excision was done and subjected for histopathological examination. HPE findings revealed normal epidermis with dermis consisting mainly of connective tissue and blood vessels.

   Discussion Top

Vestigeal tails are reported rarely in the literature.[3],[4] They may contain adipose tissue and connective tissue, blood vessels and nerves but it does not contain bone, cartilage or spinal cord elements.[1] Associated abnormalities include spina bifida, meningocoele, cleft palate, and skeletal defects.[1]
Careful physical examination and radiographic imaging of the area in the present case did not reveal any other abnormalities, hence surgical excision of the lesion was done. 

   References Top

1.White GM. Color Atlas of Regional Dermatology, Mosby Wolfe, Barcelona, 1994 ; 212.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Atherton DJ. Naevi and other developmental defects. In: Textbook of Dermatology (Ed Rook / Wilkinson / Ebling) vol 1, 5th edition, Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford 1992; 517.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Jolly H. Baby with a tail. Arch Dis Child 1963; 38 : 524 - 525.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Lundberg Go, Parsons RW. A case of a human tail. Am J Dis Child 1962 ; 104 : 72 - 73.  Back to cited text no. 4    


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