Esophagus
Congenital anomalies
Heterotopic / ectopic sebaceous glands

Editorial Board Member: Raul S. Gonzalez, M.D.
Deputy Editor-in-Chief: Catherine E. Hagen, M.D.
Yukihiro Nakanishi M.D., Ph.D.

Topic Completed: 6 May 2021

Minor changes: 6 May 2021

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PubMed Search: Ectopic sebaceous glands [TI]


Yukihiro Nakanishi M.D., Ph.D.
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Cite this page: Nakanishi Y. Heterotopic / ectopic sebaceous glands. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/esophagusectopicsebaceousglands.html. Accessed May 7th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Heterotopic / ectopic sebaceous glands in the esophagus
Essential features
  • Incidentally found, small (3 - 4 mm) yellowish plaques with granular or lobulated appearance; the number of lesions varies from single to more than 100
  • Mature sebaceous gland with excretory duct within the lamina propria of the esophagus
  • Asymptomatic and benign; no need for treatment
Terminology
  • Ectopic sebaceous gland
  • Heterotopic sebaceous gland
ICD coding
  • ICD-10: K22.8 - other specified diseases of esophagus
Epidemiology
Etiology
  • Whether heterotopic / ectopic sebaceous glands in the esophagus are the result of congenital anomaly or metaplastic change of squamous epithelium remains unknown (Pathol Int 1999;49:364)
    • Since the esophagus is of endodermal origin, while sebaceous glands are of ectodermal origin, metaplastic change of squamous epithelium is suspected
Clinical features
  • Incidentally found, small, yellowish plaques
  • Usually asymptomatic
Case reports
Treatment
  • No treatment required
Gross description
Gross images

Images hosted on other servers:

Endoscopic images

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Mature sebaceous glands characterized by large polygonal cells with clear, vacuolated cytoplasm within the lamina propria
  • A squamous lined excretory duct may also be present
  • Associated hair follicles or other skin appendages are absent
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by Yukihiro Nakanishi M.D., Ph.D.
Yellowish plaque

Intermediate power

Sample pathology report
  • Esophagus, mid, biopsy:
    • Heterotopic / ectopic sebaceous gland
    • Negative for dysplasia or carcinoma
Differential diagnosis
Board review style question #1

Which of the following is true about the esophageal lesion shown in the above picture?

  1. Associated hair follicles are occasionally seen
  2. Excretory ducts can be seen
  3. Lesions are always multiple
  4. Usually seen in the submucosa
Board review style answer #1
B. Excretory ducts can be seen in heterotopic / ectopic sebaceous glands of the esophagus.

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Reference: Heterotopic / ectopic sebaceous glands
Board review style question #2
Which of the following is true about heterotopic / ectopic sebaceous glands of the esophagus?

  1. Characterized by small (3 - 4 mm) yellowish plaques with granular or lobulated appearance
  2. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is one of the etiologic factors
  3. Most patients are elderly males with abnormal lipid metabolism disorders
  4. Often seen in pediatric patients
Board review style answer #2
A. Small (3 - 4 mm) yellowish plaques with granular or lobulated appearance are characteristic endoscopic features.

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Reference: Heterotopic / ectopic sebaceous glands
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