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Hamartomatous polyp of the palatine tonsil: histological considerations and review of the literature
  1. Anastasios Goulioumis1,2,
  2. Magioula Gkorpa3,
  3. Kyriaki Kekempanou4 and
  4. Konstantinos Kourelis1
  1. 1Otorhinolaryngology, Karamandanio Children's Hospital, Patras, Greece
  2. 2Anatomy, School of Health Sciences, University of Patras, Patras, Greece
  3. 3Otorhinolaryngology Private Practice, Mesolongi, Greece
  4. 4Department of Pathology, Geniko Nosokomeio Patron Agios Andreas, Patra, Greece
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anastasios Goulioumis; goulioum{at}


The hamartomatous polyp is a rare benign hamartoma of the palatine tonsil, usually encountered during the second decade of life. It may be reported under various terms in the literature, like lymphangioma of the tonsil, angiofibrolipoma, lymphangiomatous tonsillar polyp and lymphangiectatic fibrous polyp. Macroscopically, it appears as a large, pale, pedunculated mass. Typically, a hamartomatous polyp is asymptomatic or manifests mild symptoms, like foreign body sensation. It is not related to a generalised lymphatic malformation process. Despite its typical appearance, an excisional biopsy is necessary to rule out a malignancy. Histological findings are consistent with a squamous epithelial covering, a core of loose fibrous and adipose tissue with sparse lymphoid aggregations and dilated lymphatic channels filled with lymph and lymphocytes. Several embryologically based theories suggested its pathogenesis; however, recurrent tonsillitis does not play an established role. A typical tonsillectomy is suggested as a sufficient therapeutical approach with no tendency for recurrence.

  • Ear, nose and throat/otolaryngology
  • Pathology
  • Otolaryngology / ENT

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  • Contributors AG had the idea for the article. AG and MG performed the literature search. KK made the pathology diagnosis and provided the histopathology figure. AG drafted the work. AG and KK revised the work.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.