Glomus Tumour at an Unusual Site!

Glomus tumor
Tumor involving the pulp of distal phalanx. Source: Journal of Medical Case Reports

A 54-year-old woman with a positive history of intermittent epigastric pain presented with a tender pulp on her left little finger. The swelling was 10 years old. There were no visible abnormalities or signs of swelling elsewhere on her body. Her pain would increase during the night and on exposure to cold. Moreover, she was notified of using omeprazole for her gastric discomfort, occasionally.

Her clinical examination showed normal cardiac functions and blood pressure. Her neurological functions were also intact. There was no gross abnormality either except for a swollen distal phalanx of her left little finger. In addition, the distal phalanx displayed telangiectasia.


Based on the patient’s presentation, doctors made a list of differentials, which included glomus tumour, schwannoma and neurofibroma. Moreover, they did an X-ray and other imaging tests, all suggesting a glomus tumour.

Doctors decided to go for surgery for treatment. They removed the mass using a paramedian volar incision on the distal phalanx. Post-resection histopathology of the mass confirmed a glomus tumour. It revealed that the mass was based around vascular clefts with superimposed round cells having acidophilic cytoplasm, which are features seen in a glomus tumour.

Post-operative Events and Recovery

The patient showed a speedy recovery after her surgery. Moreover, her symptoms improved and she achieved complete relief from her pain within one-year post-surgery.

What is a Glomus Tumour?

Glomus tumours are benign tumours of vascular channels in the dermis. They arise from a glomus body and usually occur at the nail beds. Involvement of the pulp of distal phalanx is highly rare especially for as long as 10 years.


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