Soft tissue

Adipose tissue tumors

Lipoma and variants


Topic Completed: 1 August 2012

Minor changes: 30 September 2021

Copyright: 2002-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Angiolipoma

Vijay Shankar, M.D.
Page views in 2020: 12,170
Page views in 2021 to date: 12,611
Cite this page: Shankar, V. Angiolipoma. website. Accessed October 16th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Subcutaneous nodule composed of mature adipocytes, thin walled vessels and fibrin thrombi
  • Arises shortly before puberty or in young adults
  • Rare in children or older adults
  • 5% familial
Clinical features
  • Usually skin, 2/3 in forearm and chest wall, can occur on thighs, distal extremity
  • Rarely in the head and neck region
  • Painful, usually multiple subcutaneous nodules (other painful nodules are angioleiomyoma, eccrine spiradenoma, glomus tumor and traumatic neuroma)
  • May actually be hemangioma containing fat, not a mixed tumors
Case reports
  • Excision
  • Does not recur or metastasize
Clinical images

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Soft nodular mass


Clinical featuring

Gross description
  • Encapsulated, small (< 2 cm), yellow-red nodule in subcutaneous tissue
Gross images

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Lesion and its microscopic appearance

Yellowish in color

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Mature adipose tissue, branching capillaries and thick walled vessels with pericytes, particularly at periphery
  • Hyaline / fibrin thrombi are an important diagnostic sign
  • Cellular tumors are usually encapsulated with septation and fibrin thrombi (Am J Surg Pathol 1990;14:75)
  • Mast cells are present
  • Fibrosis in older lesions
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by Semir Vranić, M.D., Ph.D., Mark R. Wick, M.D. and AFIP images

25 year old woman

Various images

Mature adipose and proliferated vascular tissue

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Prominent vascular thrombi

Mature adipose and proliferated vascular tissue

Degenerative lesions of the adipose tissue

9 year old girl with lesion on lip

Electron microscopy description
Molecular / cytogenetics description
  • Almost always normal karyotype
Differential diagnosis
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