Sarma DP, Hoffmann EO (1980): Infantile digital fibroma-like tumor in an adult. Arch Dermatol 116:578-579. PMID: 7377793

[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]


Recurring digital fibrous tumors of childhood are unusual inclusion-bearing fibrous tumors typically located on the fingers and toes of young children. We report here a histologically similar tumor located on the arm of a 44-year-old man.

Download the full report: Infantile digital fibroma-like tumor in an adult


PERSONAL COMMENT: From the diary of a dermatopathologist


INFANTILE DIGITAL FIBROMATOSIS, INCLUSION BODY FIBROMATOSIS:  The lesion is a benign fibroblastic tumor occurring in infants, and is typically located in the fingers or toes. On microscopy, the spindle shaped fibroblasts show the presence of unique intracellular hyaline inclusions. The possible viral etiology has never been established. The resected lesion may recur or may even regress if left untreated. In 1976, I was reading a skin biopsy showing a dermal spindle cell proliferation. The cells looked benign. The most interesting observation was the presence of red hyaline intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies. My immediate thought was some sort of viral infection. I could not find anything in the book that resembled this lesion. My colleague (Hoffmann) studied the inclusions with electron microscopy and concluded that they were not viral inclusions. He took the case to one electron microscopy conference where other pathologists looked at the case. Their conclusion was ‘looks like infantile digital fibromatosis’. My problem was “the patient is 44 years old, far from being infant!… the lesion is located over the left upper arm, far from the digits!” I did several special stains… read everything about infantile digital fibromatosis. Finally, I concluded that the case I was looking at was the first case of this inclusion-bearing fibomatosis occurring in an adult at a non-digital site [2 , 3 ]. Since my report, a few additional cases of this type of fibromatosis occurring in adults at non-digital sites have been published. I was fascinated to know that the lesion has been seen at other locations, such as, the tongue and breast. The name infantile digital fibromatosis remains popular. However, “ Inclusion body fibromatosis” would be a better descriptive name.

From: Sarma DP (2006). From the diary of a dermatopathologist, The Internet J Dermatol,4(2). Indexed by Google Scholar.


Deba P Sarma, MD, Omaha