Lipohaemarthrosis of the shoulder

Discussion:

Lipohaemarthrosis seen on plain radiographs is unusual in the glenohumeral joint, although in one series it was seen in 25% of cases. It was first reported in 1962 (compare with 1929 for knee lipohaemarthrosis). It is only seen on erect views. Lipohaemarthroses have also been described in elbow and hip joints.

Note that a fluid-fluid level may be seen in a simple haemarthrosis on MRI. The upper fluid must show magnetic characteristics of fat (e.g. drop signal on fat-sat sequences) before you can call it a lipohaemarthrosis.

Image and description courtesy of: Dr Laughlin Dawes

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