NCBI ROFL: Attack of the belly button lint!

By ncbi rofl | March 11, 2010 7:00 pm

3246599908_52aa523bec‘Lint ball’ omphalitis, a rare cause of umbilical discharge in an adult woman: a case report

“Umbilical discharge in adult is rare and is usually induced by foreign material, most commonly hair. Rarely, it may be due to embryonal anomalies. We are reporting an unusual case of umbilical discharge in adult secondary to an impacted lint ball… A 55-year-old obese woman presented with a 4-month history of hemorrhagic discharge from the umbilicus. Deep from the base of the umbilicus, a 0.8 cm gray-tan mass was removed that on microscopic examination revealed a lint ball.  Conclusion: An impacted lint ball may be a rare cause of umbilical discharge in adult.”


Bonus quote from the full text of the paper:

“A 55-year-old obese white American woman of European descent presented with a 4-month history of slightly hemorrhagic discharge from her umbilicus. There was no history of fever, abdominal pain or any other systemic disease. Physical examination revealed a deep umbilicus with a barely visible opening. There was no redness, edema, or crusting of the periumbilical skin. The deeper aspect of the umbilicus was exposed by using a spatula. A dark, rounded polypoid mass was noted. The clinical impression was that of fibro-epithelial polyp or some other tumor. An attempt was made to remove the mass by excising the base; however, the mass easily came out of the umbilical cavity implying that either it was necrotic or it was not firmly attached to the umbilical tissue at the base. The gray-tan 0.8 cm size round mass on cut section revealed white fibrous appearance. On microscopic examination, it was composed of lint material with typical morphology of refractile bean-shaped and elongated colorless structures, red spindle-shaped keratin material, granular red debris, rare hair fragments and polymorphonuclear leukocytes (Figure 1Figure 1.). Under polarized light, the lint particles showed brilliant blue-green birefringence (Figure 2Figure 2.). A diagnosis of ‘lint ball’ omphalitis was made.”

Photo: flickr/brenbot

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  • TheBrummell

    Alert the public! There are health risks associated with belly-button lint! A program of instruction of children, teaching them to remove their lint at least daily, is a priority.

    But please don’t keep it in jars.

  • Joanna Cake

    Whilst making love recently, a pellet of belly button fluff was deposited on my own pristine belly. Not quite enough to cool my ardour of course. However, I did think it was only blokes who suffered from the problem…

  • Aaron

    Maybe Johnson & Johnson needs to make some extra long Q-Tips.

  • работа для девушек москва

    When i visit a blog, chances are that I notice that most blogs are amateurish. Regarding your blog,I could honestly say that you writting is decent and your website solid.


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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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