Lipomas, Lipomatosis, and Liposarcoma

Lipomas, Lipomatosis, and Liposarcoma

Melvin A. Shiffman


Virchow1 first stated that adipose tissue was merely a common connective tissue loaded with stored simple fats. This view was supported by Flemming2,3 but had been challenged by Toldt (1870),4 who held that adipose tissue was a specific organ and quite separate from connective tissue. Adipose tissue was derived from special primitive fat organs, which had a lobular structure and in which a distinct type of cell existed with a capacity for the storage or release of fat according to the metabolic requirements of the body.4

Lipomas are benign adipose tissue tumors that appear as masses and are only occasionally symptomatic. Lipomatosis consists of multiple lipomas associated with genetic disorders. Liposarcomas are malignant tumors that arise from adipocytes. They may recur locally and may metastasize, particularly when of the dedifferentiated subtype. Each of these disorders is discussed, including diagnosis, characteristics, classification, and treatment.


Patients complain of a lump or lumps that distort the smooth outline of the body. Patients usually question the diagnosis and decisions to be made about treatment. Many clinicians are unaware of the many different kinds of lipomatous and liposarcomatous lesions that may appear and their consequences.

Jun 29, 2020 | Posted by in Dermatology | Comments Off on Lipomas, Lipomatosis, and Liposarcoma
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