Section : History & Terminology

Adenoma Sebaceum in Tuberous Sclerosis: A misnomer !

  • Adenoma Sebaceum refers to lesions on the face described in 1890 by the British dermatologist Dr John James Pringle (1855-1922).
  • Adenoma Sebaceum is a misnomer, the lesions are actually angiofibromas – which is closer to Koenen’s tumors which are peringual fibromas.
    • The facial lesions are neither adenomas, nor sebaceous in origin.
    • Multiple “real” sebacous adenomas found in Muir-Torre Syndrome: a condition where multiple lesions are associated with neoplastic disease, most commonly of the colon.
  • Note: Tuberous sclerosis was described in the late 19th century by a Parisian neurologist, Dr Désiré-Magloire Bourneville.
    “Tuber” and “Scleros” mean hard swelling and refer to the gyri found in the in the brains of patients when doing an autopsy.

Dr Christophe Hsu – dermatologist. Geneva, Switzerland
Source of information: Crissey JT el al. Dermatology and Dermatologists (2002). Parthenon Publishing