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Hamartoma (pronunciation: /hæmɑːrˈtoʊmə/) is a benign, focal malformation that resembles a neoplasm in the tissue of its origin. This is not a cancerous tumor, but it can cause problems due to its size and location. Hamartomas are also called birthmarks or congenital malformations.


The term "Hamartoma" comes from the Greek words hamartia which means "defect" or "error", and -oma which is a suffix often used in pathology to indicate a tumor or growth.

Types of Hamartoma

There are several types of hamartomas, including:

  • Pulmonary Hamartoma: This is the most common type of hamartoma, occurring in the lungs.
  • Hypothalamic Hamartoma: This type occurs in the hypothalamus and can cause seizures and early onset of puberty.
  • Cowden Syndrome: This is a rare inherited disorder characterized by multiple hamartomas.


Symptoms of a hamartoma can vary greatly depending on its location. Some hamartomas may not cause any symptoms and are only discovered during a medical examination for an unrelated condition. Others can cause symptoms related to the organ in which they are located.


Diagnosis of a hamartoma typically involves imaging tests such as MRIs, CT scans, or X-rays. A biopsy may also be performed to confirm the diagnosis.


Treatment for a hamartoma depends on its size, location, and whether it's causing symptoms. If the hamartoma is not causing any symptoms, it may not require treatment. If it is causing symptoms, treatment options may include surgery, medication, or radiation therapy.

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