Inguinal canal lipoma
Citation, DOI, disclosures and article data
At the time the article was created Yuranga Weerakkody had no recorded disclosures.View Yuranga Weerakkody's current disclosures
Inguinal canal lipomas, also known as spermatic cord or round ligament lipomas, are a relatively common but often under-recognized finding on imaging.
Lipomas are usually asymptomatic but can sometimes cause pain and discomfort. They can present as a mass.
They have no communication with the peritoneal fat. They are not considered as true tumors of fat but as extrusions of extraperitoneal fat extending into the inguinal canal.
It is seen as a well defined, solid hyperechoic mass, expanding the inguinal canal, which gently effaces the spermatic cord.
The lesion shows attenuation corresponding to fat (-20 to -70 HU). No associated soft tissue component or enhancement.
Oval shaped mass with typical fat signal characteristics:
T1: high signal
T2: high signal
fat-suppressed sequences: shows fat suppression
Treatment and prognosis
They are a benign entity and no treatment is usually required in incidental asymptomatic cases. Resection can be offered to patients who are clinically symptomatic.
On imaging, possible differential considerations include:
inguinal hernias containing fat
other inguinal canal / spermatic cord masses 3
subcutaneous lipoma overlying the spermatic cord
- 1. Fataar S. CT of inguinal canal lipomas and fat-containing inguinal hernias. J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2011;55 (5): 485-92. doi:10.1111/j.1754-9485.2011.02288.x - Pubmed citation
- 2. Bhosale PR, Patnana M, Viswanathan C et-al. The inguinal canal: anatomy and imaging features of common and uncommon masses. Radiographics. 2008;28 (3): 819-35. Radiographics (full text) - doi:10.1148/rg.283075110 - Pubmed citation
- 3. Akbar SA, Sayyed TA, Jafri SZ, Hasteh F, Neill JS. Multimodality imaging of paratesticular neoplasms and their rare mimics. (2003) Radiographics : a review publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. 23 (6): 1461-76. doi:10.1148/rg.236025174 - Pubmed