Last revised by Frank Gaillard on 22 May 2023

Lipomatosis is a condition where there is diffuse excessive fat deposition within the body. Although considered a single entity in the WHO classification of soft tissue and bone tumors 7, lipomatosis encompasses a variety of conditions heterogeneous in demographics, distribution and etiology. These are, therefore, discussed separately (see below).

Importantly many of the conditions that have an abnormal accumulation of fat in certain regions (lipomatosis) can also have a simultaneous loss of fat in other regions (lipodystrophy); HIV-associated lipodystrophy is a good example.

Associations conditions

Lipomatosis, regardless of cause, is characterized histologically by mature adipocytes arranged in lobules and sheets 7.

In many instances, no treatment is required, or the underlying cause can be treated (e.g. Cushing syndrome). When pronounced or of cosmetic concern, surgical removal can be performed although recurrence is common 7.

Occasionally, if extensive, the accumulation of fat can cause mechanical compression and result in regional symptoms which will depend on the location (e.g. nerve root/cauda equina compression or laryngeal compression).

Possible imaging differential considerations include:

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.