Ectopia (medicine)

An ectopia (/ɛkˈtpiə/) is a displacement or malposition of an organ or other body part, which is then referred to as ectopic (/ɛkˈtɒpɪk/). Most ectopias are congenital, but some may happen later in life.


  • Ectopic ACTH syndrome, also known as small-cell carcinoma.
  • Ectopic calcification, a pathologic deposition of calcium salts in tissues or bone growth in soft tissues
  • Cerebellar tonsillar ectopia, aka Chiari malformation, a herniation of the brain through the foramen magnum, which may be congenital or caused by trauma.
  • Ectopic cilia, a hair growing where it isn't supposed to be, commonly an eyelash on an abnormal spot on the eyelid, distichia
  • Ectopia cordis, the displacement of the heart outside the body during fetal development
  • Ectopic enamel, a tooth abnormality, where enamel is found in an unusual location, such as at the root of a tooth
  • Ectopic expression, the expression of a gene in an abnormal place in an organism
  • Ectopic hormone, a hormone produced by a tumor, such as small-cell carcinoma, can cause Cushing's syndrome
  • Ectopia lentis, the displacement of the crystalline lens of the eye
  • Neuronal ectopia
  • Ectopic pancreas, displacement of pancreatic tissue in the body with no connection, anatomical or vascular, to the pancreas
  • Ectopic recombination, the recombination between sequences (like leu2 sequences) present at different genomic locations
  • Renal ectopia occurs when both kidneys are on the same side of the body
  • Ectopic testis, a testis that has moved to an unusual location
  • Ectopic thymus, where thymus tissue is found in an abnormal location
  • Ectopic thyroid, where an entire or parts of the thyroid are located elsewhere in the body
  • Ectopic tooth
  • Ectopic ureter, where the ureter terminates somewhere other than the urinary bladder
  • Ectopia vesicae, a congenital anomality in which part of the urinary bladder is present outside the body

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