Angiolipoma

Dr Ian Bickle and A.Prof Frank Gaillard et al.

Angiolipomas (also sometimes known as haemangiolipomas, vascular lipomas, and fibromyolipomas) are rare soft tissue tumours composed of mature adipocytes and vessels. They can occur essentially anywhere and can be subclassified into infiltrating and non-infiltrating variants 1

Please refer to the epidural (spinal) angiolipoma article for a specific discussion. The remainder of this article describes the general features of peripheral angiolipomas.

Typically occur in young adults, appearing on the forearm (most common location), trunk and upper arm. They are more common in males. The most common presentation is of multiple, small (<2 cm), subcutaneous, tender nodules 2,3.

Infiltrating angiolipomas are much rarer than the non-infiltrating variant. They occur in children and adults and have no sex predilection. They most commonly appear in the muscles of the lower extremity, neck, and shoulder, and are usually painless 5.

As expected, these masses contain adipose tissue with prominent vascular supply.

Infiltrating angiolipoma is nonencapsulated and can contain phleboliths, heterotopic bone, and calcium salts. There are authors who conclude that it should be classified as an "intramuscular haemangioma" 2,4.

Ultrasonography

Appear as well-circumscribed, homogeneous hyperechoic masses 5,6.

MRI

Angiolipomas demonstrate signal intensity characteristics of mature adipose tissue. Vascular elements are T1-hypointense and T2 hyperintense and enhance vividly following administration of contrast 3.

Angiography

Catheter angiography demonstrates prominent coarse neovascularity. During the capillary phase, contrast staining is typically seen 1.

Treatment is predominantly surgical, although infiltrating tumours are difficult to completely excise 1 and, as mentioned above, tend to recur locally. 2

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Article information

rID: 28283
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Hemangiolipoma
  • Vascular lipoma
  • Fibromyolipoma
  • Haemangiolipoma

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