Petrified Ears: A Clue for Adrenal Insufficiency
Department of Dermatology, ASST Lecco, Alessandro Manzoni Hospital, 23900 Lecco, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gürkan Kaya
Dermatopathology 2021, 8(1), 45-48; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/dermatopathology8010009
Received: 15 February 2021 / Revised: 2 March 2021 / Accepted: 3 March 2021 / Published: 6 March 2021
Petrified ears is an uncommon clinical entity. It describes auricular cartilage hardening, due usually to ectopic calcification or, less commonly, ossification. The most common causes are frostbite and mechanical trauma. However, endocrinopathies have also been reported to cause ectopic calcium deposition through an unknown mechanism. Addison’s disease is the systemic disease most frequently associated, but the exact pathogenesis remains unclear. Patients are usually asymptomatic, and the diagnosis is made incidentally when rigid helices are noted on palpation and can be confirmed by radiological imaging. A biopsy can also help to differentiate between calcification and ossification. The presence of this condition may be a useful clinical sign, which in some cases precedes the development of endocrinopathies by many years. We report on a case, and we review the current literature.