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Acta Cytol. 2010 Sep-Oct;54(5 Suppl):907-10.

Diagnosis of hidradenoma papilliferum of the vulva on cytologic smears: a case report.

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Division of Cytology, Department of Pathology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Dr. E Borges Marg, Parel, Mumbai, India.



Hidradenoma papilliferum is a rare benign tumor of the vulva that occurs mainly in women in the skin of the anogenital region. Clinically it may mimic a carcinoma, so the correct cytologic interpretation of the tumor cells with subsequent careful histologic confirmation is essential for good management.


A 44-year-old woman who had a history of hysterectomy 14 years earlier presented with a small, exophytic growth on the labia majora. Fine needle aspiration cytology and vulvar scraping of the lesion were reported as a malignant tumor, and the case was referred to our center for further management. Repeat vulvar smears showed mainly groups and clusters of benign-looking glandular cells and were interpreted as a benign tumor. Subsequent histology confirmed the diagnosis of hidradenoma papilliferum.


This case highlights the cytologic features of hidradenoma papilliferum on cytologic smears. The clinical presentation should not mislead the cytologic interpretation of the tumor cells.

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