Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 47, Issue 11, pp 1553–1558 | Cite as

Pacinian corpuscles: an explanation for subcutaneous palmar nodules routinely encountered on MR examinations

  • Nicholas G Rhodes
  • Naveen S. Murthy
  • Julia S. Lehman
  • David A. Rubin
Case Report


Pacinian corpuscles, the main touch receptors to pressure and vibration, are ubiquitous in the deep dermis and hypodermis of the fingers and palms. Nevertheless, their existence is largely unknown to most radiologists. We frequently noted hyperintense nodules in the palms of patients on water-sensitive MRI sequences, but were unable to explain their etiology. We recently encountered two patients who had Pacinian corpuscles identified at surgical exploration and pathological analysis. Pre-operative MRI examinations in these patients showed T2 hyperintense subcutaneous palmar nodules corresponding to these corpuscles in a pattern identical to those seen incidentally in other patients. Descriptions from the dermatopathological and orthopedic literature closely correspond to our MRI observations. Based on these data, we hypothesize that the MRI finding that we previously noted represents normal Pacinian corpuscles.


Pacinian corpuscle Vater–Pacini Lamellar corpuscle Touch receptor Dermal anatomy Hypodermal anatomy Mechanoreceptor MRI Hand 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Informed consent

Study was approved by the institutional review board of our institution and the requirement for written informed consent was waived.


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Copyright information

© ISS 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas G Rhodes
    • 1
  • Naveen S. Murthy
    • 1
  • Julia S. Lehman
    • 2
  • David A. Rubin
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Dermatology and PathologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Mallinckrodt Institute of RadiologyWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA

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