Normal Pacinian corpuscles in the hand: radiology–pathology correlation in a cadaver study

Nicholas G. Rhodes, Naveen S. Murthy, Nirusha Lachman, David A. Rubin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: To provide microdissection and histological confirmation of normal Pacinian corpuscles prospectively identified using MRI in a cadaver model. Methods: 3-T MRI of a cadaveric hand specimen was performed with fiduciary markers on the skin. Based on previous descriptions, subcutaneous nodules representing presumed Pacinian corpuscles were localized with respect to the skin markers, and their sizes and depths were recorded. Focused ultrasound was performed to attempt to visualize the corpuscles. Subsequent microdissection was then performed and the presence and location of Pacinian corpuscles were recorded and compared with the findings on MRI. Histological evaluation for each identified corpuscle was performed. Results: The MRI demonstrated 11 T2-hyperintense palmar subcutaneous nodules around the second through fifth metacarpophalangeal joints. None was visible sonographically. The first eight were dissected and proved to be normal Pacinian corpuscles histologically. In sites devoid of subcutaneous nodules on MRI, subsequent dissection failed to reveal any corpuscles. Conclusion: On MRI, normal Pacinian corpuscles appear as round or oval, T2-hyperintense subcutaneous nodules in the palms, clustered around the metacarpophalangeal joints, and should not be mistaken for pathological conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1591-1597
Number of pages7
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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