Lymph nodes - not lymphoma
Inclusions, pigment, ectopic cells or tissue
Tattoo pigment




Topic Completed: 1 July 2013

Revised: 1 February 2019, last major update July 2013

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Tattoo pigment [title] lymph nodes

Page views in 2018: 373
Page views in 2019 to date: 297
Cite this page: DePond W. Tattoo pigment. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/lymphnodestattoopigment.html. Accessed April 26th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • May cause lymphadenopathy, usually resolves spontaneously
  • Pigment initially within keratinocytes, fibroblasts, macrophages and mast cells; later only within dermal fibroblasts surrounded by connective tissue; eventually tattoo ink appears in regional lymph nodes
  • Melanoma patients should be questioned regarding history of tattoos, particularly prior to sentinel node treatment (Int Semin Surg Oncol 2005;2:28)
  • Histologic confirmation of melanoma in nodes is necessary to avoid unnecessary surgery (Dermatol Surg 1996;22:92)
Case reports
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Dark pigment within sinuses

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Pigment within macrophages

Differential diagnosis
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