Nuchal-type fibroma

A clinicopathologic study of 52 cases


  • The opinions and assertions contained herein are the expressed views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or reflecting the views of the Departments of the Army or Defense.



Nuchal-type fibroma (NTF) usually arises in the posterior aspect of the neck. Previously published reports describe only 11 cases and provide limited clinicopathologic information.


Fifty-two examples of NTF from 50 patients were analyzed from the files of the Soft Tissue Registries of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, DC, and the Faculty Hospital in Pilsen, Czech Republic.


The age of the patients ranged from 3 to 74 years (mean, 40 years). There were 41 males and 9 females. Thirty-six NTFs were located in the posterior neck region and 16 were from extranuchal sites. Two patients had had lesions excised from both a nuchal and an extranuchal location. The mean greatest tumor dimension was 3.2 cm. Microscopically, all examples had a superficial (subcutaneous and sometimes dermal) component and consisted of paucicellular, thick bundles of lobulated collagen fibers with inconspicuous fibroblasts. Entrapped adipose tissue and traumatic neuromalike nerve proliferations were typically present. Skeletal muscle infiltration was also seen in a minority of cases. Eleven of 25 patients (44%) for whom clinical information was available reportedly had diabetes. Gardner's syndrome was documented in one patient and was possibly present in two additional individuals. During follow-up, five patients had local recurrences, but none of the recurrences were destructive and all were ultimately controlled by local reexcision.


NTF is a rare, tumorlike accumulation of collagen that often affects the posterior neck region but can also occur in a number of other sites. The process has a strong association with diabetes and also appears to be linked to Gardner's syndrome. Local recurrence probably reflects the persistence of local or systemic factors related to its pathogenesis. Cancer 1999;85:156–63. © 1999 American Cancer Society.