Which histologic findings are characteristic of pilonidal disease?

Updated: Jun 11, 2018
  • Author: M Chance Spalding, DO, PhD; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Answer

After the onset of puberty, sex hormones affect the pilosebaceous glands, and subsequently, the hair follicle becomes distended with keratin. As a result, a folliculitis develops that produces edema and follicle occlusion.

The infection tracks away from the surface in the trajectory of the occluded follicle. This usually places the tracking follicle approximately 5-8 cm from the anus. In the rarer instance that the sinus is located caudally, it is usually found 4-5 cm from the anus. The laterally communicating sinus overlying the sacrum is created as the pilonidal abscess spontaneously drains to the skin surface. The original sinus tract from the natal cleft becomes an epithelialized tube. The laterally draining tract becomes a granulating sinus tract opening.


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