Gumma (pathology)

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Gumma (pathology)
ICD-10 A52.3 A52.7
ICD-9 090.5 094.9 095 102.6
DiseasesDB 30601
MedlinePlus 000859

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


A gumma is a soft, non-cancerous growth resulting from the tertiary stage of syphilis. It is a form of granuloma. Gummas are most commonly found in the liver (gumma hepatis), but can also be found in brain, heart, skin, bone, testis, and other tissues, leading to a variety of potential problems including neurological disorders or heart valve disease.

Syphilitic gummas are found in most but not all cases of tertiary syphilis, and can occur either singly or in groups. Gummas have a firm center that may become partly hyalinized. These central regions begin to die through coagulative necrosis, though they also retain some of the structural characteristics of previously normal tissues, enabling a distinction from the granulomas of tuberculosis where caseous necrosis obliterates preexisting structures. Other histological features of gummas include an intervening zone containing epithelioid cells with indistinct borders and multinucleated giant cells, and a peripheral zone of fibroblasts and capillaries. Inflitration of lymphocytes and plasma cells can be seen in the peripheral zone as well. With time, gummas eventually undergo fibrous degeneration, leaving behind an irregular scar or a round, fibrous nodule.

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