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Chondrodermatitis Nodularis Helicis

Chondrodermatitis Nodularis Helicis

chondrodermatitis nodularis helices

A 71-year-old woman sought medical attention for a chronically painful ear lesion.

Key point: Examination revealed a 0.5-cm ulcerated and tender nodule on the superior pole of the antihelix of the left ear. This strongly suggests basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma. A biopsy, however, disclosed only an intense inflammatory infiltrate extending to and into the cartilage. This is characteristic for chondrodermatitis nodularis helicis (CNH)—an idiopathic inflammatory disorder of the external ear.

Treatment: Surgical debridement, coupled with injection of dilute triamcinolone acetonide suspension (2 to 3 mg/mL) may be employed. In this case, intralesional corticosteroid injections to the ulcer base and lesion periphery were performed after the biopsy. The area healed and did not recur.

Note: CNH is usually painful, whereas skin cancer of the pinna is rarely painful.

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