Ear
Congenital anomalies
Heterotopia / choristoma


Topic Completed: 1 October 2013

Minor changes: 26 August 2019

Revised: 04 January 2019

Copyright: (c) 2002-2019, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Heterotopia choristoma [title] ear

Related Topics: Lipochoristoma


Nat Pernick, M.D.
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Cite this page: Pernick N. Heterotopia / choristoma. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/earheterotopia.html. Accessed August 8th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • WHO classification includes salivary gland choristoma and glial choristoma
  • Heterotopia: mass of tissue normal to the site in abnormal location
  • Choristoma: mass of tissue foreign to the site
  • Hamartoma: mass of tissue normal to site in haphazard arrangement
  • Middle ear choristomas include salivary gland tissue and neuroglial tissue
  • Salivary gland choristomas usually occur in women, associated with facial nerve and ossicle anomalies, suggesting a second branchial arch developmental anomaly; have mucinous and serous elements similar to submandibular and sublingual glands
  • Neuroglial choristomas are often actually an acquired encephalocele with herniation of brain into middle ear and mastoid; treatment is surgical, although tissue may adhere to facial nerve; determine relationship to CNS structures at operation or radiographically, not by histology (Laryngoscope 2000;110:1731, Ann Diagn Pathol 2004;8:252)
  • Cartilaginous choristoma of external ear canal: may be relatively common (Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2005;133:786)
Case reports
Radiology images

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Mass-like lesion
with soft tissue
density occupying
the middle ear
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Mature disorganized
glial tissue and
fibrovascular elements
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GFAP+, S100+

Additional references
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