In 1992, Sau and colleagues described 14 cases of a rare cutaneous adnexal tumor with differentiation toward the hair germ epithelium. All cases in their study displayed a unique constellation of histological features which allowed the authors to consider the neoplasm to be a distinct entity and to designate it as ‘trichogerminoma’ (TG). We present a case of an adnexal tumor identical to that described as TG and report the immunophenotypical features of this neoplasm for the first time. A biopsy from a 41-year-old man revealed a well-demarcated epithelial tumor composed of multiple lobules located in the deep dermis without connection to the overlying epidermis and surrounded by a fibrous pseudocapsule. The tumorous lobules were composed of uniform basophilic cells with vesicular nuclei, dispersed chromatin and prominent nucleoli showing no prominent peripheral palisading. Some of the lobules had the appearance of densely packed ‘cell balls’ with peripheral condensation of the tumor cells. The stroma showed a moderate number of fibroblasts and mast cells. Reticulum staining revealed fine reticulum fibers surrounding the tumor aggregates with accentuation of the ‘cell balls’. Immunohistochemically, the tumor cells expressed AE1/AE3, CK5/8, CK5/6, CAM5.2 and stained negatively for CK20, CK7, calretinin, Lu-5 and Thomsen- Friedensreich antigen. There was no increase in the numbers of CK20-positive Merkel cells in the epidermis overlying the tumor; however, a few Merkel cells were scattered in some tumor lobules. In addition, we stained 6 trichoblastomas (TBs) and found a particular pattern of calretinin expression in this tumor which was not observed in our case of TG. We conclude that pathological features allow the delineation of TG as a distinct adnexal neoplasm. Histological differential diagnosis includes basal-cell carcinoma (pilar type), large nodular TB, trichoblastic fibroma, trichoepithelioma, tricholemmoma, pilomatricoma and matrical carcinoma.

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