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Dermatol Surg. 2002 Dec;28(12):1168-72.

Mohs micrographic surgery of a papillary eccrine adenoma.

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University of Virginia School of Medicine, USA.



Papillary eccrine adenoma (PEA) is a rare benign sweat gland neoplasm first described by Rulon and Helwig in 1977. Although these lesions typically behave in a benign fashion, PEA's on the volar surfaces may demonstrate more aggressive biologic behavior. Additionally, aggressive digital papillary adenomas (ADPA) may histologically simulate PEAs and behave in a more malignant fashion.


To present a case report of a patient with an incompletely excised PEA that was successfully extirpated using Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS).


A 51-year-old black woman was evaluated for the treatment of an incompletely excised PEA located on the dorsum of her left hand at the base of the thumb. Mohs micrographic surgery was felt to be the ideal treatment choice because of incomplete prior resections, ill-defined clinical borders, the need for conservative surgical excision to preserve sensory and motor function of the left hand, and the previously reported more aggressive nature of this tumor when located on volar surfaces. The patient underwent a two-stage, six section micrographically controlled excision using the fresh tissue technique.


Complete resection of the PEA without significant damage to neurovascular structures.


This case demonstrates the increasingly important role MMS is playing in the surgical management of a wide variety of cutaneous tumors. To our knowledge, this is the first time MMS has been used in the resection of a PEA.

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