Multifocal verruciform xanthoma of the upper aerodigestive tract in a child with a systemic lipid storage disease

W. D. Travis, G. E. Davis, M. Tsokos, R. Lebovics, H. F.W. Merrick, S. P.F. Miller, R. E. Gregg, A. M. Di Bisceglie, R. I. Parker, K. G. Ishak, M. R. Filling-Katz

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43 Scopus citations


We report the clinical, light-microscopic, and ultrastructural features of a case of multifocal verruciform xanthoma in the upper aerodigestive tract of a child with a systemic lipid disorder. Lipid storage cells were found in liver, bone marrow, and as a component of verruciform xanthomas. To our knowledge this represents the first case of verruciform xanthoma reported in (a) a child, (b) as a multifocal lesion in the upper aerodigestive tract, (c) associated with a systemic lipid disorder, and (d) with ultrastructural evidence of lipid accumulation within endothelial cells. Although this patient presented with lesions involving the tongue and larynx, subsequently lesions were found in the bone marrow and liver. Two months later more lesions were discovered on the epiglottis, posterior tongue, right glottis, and in grossly normal peritonsillar mucosa. Six months later a new oral lesion developed. Based upon these observations, we speculate that the pathogenesis of verruciform xanthoma involves accumulation of excess lipid in subepithelial sites which is scavenged by macrophages. Lipid-laden macrophages release epithelial growth factors that lead to epithelial hyperplasia. Depending on the degree of epithelial hyperplasia, the gross appearance of verruciform xanthomas may be flat, sessile, papillary, or verrucous.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-316
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


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