The association between glomus tumors and neurofibromatosis

Bridget Harrison, Amy M. Moore, Ryan Calfee, Douglas M. Sammer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine whether an epidemiologic association exists between glomus tumors and neurofibromatosis. Methods: Using a pathology database, we established a study cohort consisting of all patients who had undergone excision of a glomus tumor of the hand between 1995 and 2010. We created a control cohort by randomly selecting 200 patients who had undergone excision of a ganglion cyst over the same period. We reviewed medical records for each cohort to identify patients with a diagnosis of neurofibromatosis. We calculated the odds ratio was calculated and performed Fisher's exact test to determine the significance of the association. Results: We identified 21 patients with glomus tumors of the hand. Six of these patients carried the diagnosis of neurofibromatosis (29%). In contrast, no patients in the control group carried the diagnosis of neurofibromatosis. The odds ratio for a diagnosis of neurofibromatosis in association with a glomus tumor compared with controls was 168:1. Conclusions: This study provides evidence of a strong epidemiologic association between glomus tumors and neurofibromatosis. Glomus tumor should be included in the differential diagnosis in neurofibromatosis patients who present with a painful lesion of the hand or finger. Type of study/level of evidence: Diagnostic III.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1571-1574
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Hand Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Glomus tumor
  • hand tumor
  • neurofibroma
  • neurofibromatosis
  • von Recklinghausen


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