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Year : 1990  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 232-233

Epithelioma cuniculatum

Correspondence Address:
Sehgal Uttera

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A 60 year old male had a slow growing verucous growth on his left sole for the last 20 years. This histopathological examination revealed features consistent with verrucous carcinoma of the foot.

Keywords: Epithelioma cuniculatum, Verrucous carcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma.

How to cite this article:
Uttera S. Epithelioma cuniculatum. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1990;56:232-3

How to cite this URL:
Uttera S. Epithelioma cuniculatum. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol [serial online] 1990 [cited 2020 Oct 29];56:232-3. Available from:

Epithelioma cuhiculatum, a rare variant of squamous cell carcinoma peculiar to the foot,[1],[2] was first described by Aird et a1[3] in 1954. Additional cases have been reported in the literature.[4],[5],[6] Lately, Reingold et a1[2] described a case with marked destruction of the metatarsal bones. The tumour is treated by wide local excision[1],[4] or by amputation when the growth causes bony involvement or deformity of the foot.[3],[5]

  Case Report Top

A 60-year-old man had a verrucous growth on the medial side of the left sole [Figure - 1] of 20 years duration. Of late, it had increased considerably and become slightly painful. Pressure over the growth had produced a purulent discharge from the fissures overlying the lesion. Routine blood examination and urinalysis were normal. X-ray of the left foot revealed a bony abnormality. Mantoux test was negative. Pus discharge from the sinus yielded a heavy growth of Pseudomonas sp and no mycotie organism. Biopsy of the lesion revealed hyperkeratosis and acanthosis with an undulating, densely keratinized,well differentiated squamous epithelium which deeply penetrated the soft tissues as broad plagues and was frequently separated by sinuses filled with inflammatory cells. In the deep tissue, the keratinocytes penetrated as thin trabecular epithelial nests separated by numerous inflammatory cells. The crypts' contained abundant keratin infiltrated with . various amounts of neutrophils and histocytes which extended to the surface. Special stains including PAS, Gomori's methanamine silver nitrate and Ziehl-Neelsen stain revealed no organism.

  Comments Top

The term epithelioma implies a tumour of the epithelial structure which is not necessarily malignant, and cuniculatum refers to the similarity of crypts and sinuses to the rabbit burrows. The lesions of epithelioma cuniculatum are recognized by the gross appearance of a slow growing, bulky, verrucous, non-healing, exophytic mass of long duration on the sole, exuding foul smelling, purulent, keratin debris from numerous sinuses. A rare occurrence of this tumour (EC) on the palm has been documented.[7]

  References Top

1.Brown SM and Freeman RG : Epithelioma cuniculatum, Arch Dermatol, 1976; 112:1295-1296.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Reingold IM, Smith BR and Graham JH : Epithelioma cuniculatum pedis, a variant of squamous cell carcinoma, Amer J Clin Pathol, 1978; 68:561-565.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Aird I, Johnson HD, lennox B et al : Epithelioma cuniculatum : a variety of squamous cell carcinoma peculiar to the foot, Brit J Surg, 1954; 42:245-250,  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Thompson SG : Epithelioma cuniculatum : an unusual tumour of the foot, Brit J Plast Surg, 1965; 18:214-217.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Thorne N : Epithelioma cuniculatum, Brit J Dermatol, 1972; 87:71-72.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Brownstein MH and Shapiro L : Verrucous carcinoma of skin : epithelioma cuniculatum plantare, Cancer, 1976; 38:1710-1716.  Back to cited text no. 6    
7.Kumar AS, George E and Pandhi RK : Epithelioma cuniculatum palmare with palmo-plantar keratoderma, Ind J Dermatol Venereol Leprol, 1984; 50:269-270.  Back to cited text no. 7    


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