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Hum Pathol. 1984 May;15(5):449-53.

Human tails and pseudotails.

Abstract

A case of a tail in a 2-week-old infant is reported, and findings from a review of 33 previously reported cases of true tails and pseudotails are summarized. The true, or persistent, vestigial tail of humans arises from the most distal remnant of the embryonic tail. It contains adipose and connective tissue, central bundles of striated muscle, blood vessels, and nerves and is covered by skin. Bone, cartilage, notochord, and spinal cord are lacking. The true tail arises by retention of structures found normally in fetal development. It may be as long as 13 cm, can move and contract, and occurs twice as often in males as in females. A true tail is easily removed surgically, without residual effects. It is rarely familial. Pseudotails are varied lesions having in common a lumbosacral protrusion and a superficial resemblance to persistent vestigial tails. The most frequent cause of a pseudotail in a series of ten cases obtained from the literature was an anomalous prolongation of the coccygeal vertebrae. Additional lesions included two lipomas, and one each of teratoma, chondromegaly , glioma, and a thin, elongated parasitic fetus.

PMID:
6373560
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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