Non-neoplastic or metabolic disease
Glomus coccygeum

Author: Dariusz Borys, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 3 October 2016, last major update June 2012

Copyright: (c) 2003-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Glomus coccygeum
Cite this page: Glomus coccygeum. website. Accessed October 17th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Glomus bodies normally are present near coccyx at caudal end of spinal column
  • May be misidentified as a tumor during rectal resection for rectal or uterine carcinoma, treatment of pressure sores or trauma (Am J Surg Pathol 1990;14:922)
  • Not a pathologic finding, but an unusual “normal” finding
Gross description
  • Small nodule in soft tissue ventral to tip of coccyx
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • 1-4 cm, sharply circumscribed glomus bodies composed of glomus cells without atypia or pleomorphism surrounding vascular channels with fibrous stroma containing nerve fibers (Arch Pathol Lab Med 1999;123:905)
  • Cells are small with moderate cytoplasm and finely dispersed chromatin
  • No infiltration or expansile growth
Microscopic (histologic) images

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H&E and stains

Electron microscopy description
  • Small cells with bundles of actin filaments
Electron microscopy images

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Smooth muscle cells with actin filaments

Differential diagnosis
  • Glomus tumor: branching vascular channels separated by stroma containing glomus cells in nests, aggregates; glomus cells are arranged around vessels; have small, regular, round, indistinct nucleoli; more infiltrative in children