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Current Issue - March 2017, Volume 11, Issue No. 1

Official Journal of Malaysian Orthopaedic Association and ASEAN Orthopaedic Association

Subungual Glomus Tumours: Is Magnetic Resonance Imaging or Ultrasound Necessary for Diagnosis?


Introduction: Diagnosis of subungual glomus tumour is mostly based on detailed history and clinical examination. Recently, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Ultrasound have been proposed as the imaging modality to confirm the clinical diagnosis and in planning the surgical management of these tumours. However, these imaging modalities are not routinely available in rural setting and also are expensive. Due to these limitations, we set out to establish that diagnosis and management of these rare tumours can be based solely on a battery of clinical tests and history taking.

Materials and Methods: Retrospectively, we reviewed nine cases of glomus tumour. A clinical evaluation proforma was developed on the basis of clinical history and specific clinical test for diagnosis of these tumours. All the cases were evaluated and treated surgically by a single surgeon with a specific technique. Post-operatively, diagnosis was confirmed by histopathological examination.

Results: Females (77.78%) were predominantly affected in this series and the tumours commonly occurred in the right hand (66.66%). Spontaneous pain, cold sensitivity test and Love’s Pin test was positive in all cases (100%). Hildreth’s test was positive in 88.89%. In none of the cases the tumours recurred during minimum follow-up of one year. In all cases, histopathological examination confirmed the preoperative diagnosis of glomus tumours.

Conclusion: Diagnosis of glomus tumours can be made clinically based on history taking and clinical examination. Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Ultrasound are not necessary for diagnosis and management of typical subungual tumours.

Abstract   |   Reference

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The Malaysian Orthopaedic Journal is a peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year in both print and electronic online version. The purpose of this journal is to publish original research studies, evaluation of current practices and case reports in various subspecialties of orthopaedics and traumatology, as well as associated fields like basic science, biomedical engineering, rehabilitation medicine and nursing.

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