Soft tissue

Fibroblastic / myofibroblastic


Topic Completed: 1 July 2012

Minor changes: 23 July 2021

Copyright: 2002-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Elastofibroma

Komal Arora, M.D.
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Cite this page: Arora K. Elastofibroma. website. Accessed October 24th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Benign, poorly circumscribed pseudotumor of subscapular region, composed of collagen and coarse enlarged elastic fibers
  • Reactive hyperplasia involving abnormal elastogenesis
  • Also called elastofibroma dorsi
  • First described in 1961 by Jarvi and Saxen (Acta Pathol Microbiol Scand 1961;51:83)
  • Usually age 55+ years
  • Associated with hard manual labor
  • Related changes found at autopsy in 13 - 17% of elderly
  • More common in women
  • More common on apex of scapula, usually right sided
  • Occasionally in deltoid muscle, infraolecranon area, hip, thigh, stomach
  • May be multiple, bilateral or familial
  • May be periosteal in origin
  • Slightly different amino acids from elastin
  • Has collagen types I - III (type II normally restricted to articular cartilage and ocular structures)
Case reports
  • Excise if symptomatic, does not recur
Clinical images

Contributed by Mark R. Wick, M.D.


Images hosted on other servers:

Shoulder based tumors

Typical location (arrow)

Gross description
  • Ill defined, rubbery, gray-white fibrous tissue mixed with yellow streaks of elastin
  • Up to 15 cm
Gross images

AFIP images

Fibrocollagenous areas blend with fat

Images hosted on other servers:

Poorly defined fibroelastic tumor entrapping fat

Gray-white fibrous tissue mixed with fat

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Collagen bundles alternate with large, thick eosinophilic elastic cylinders with a dense central core, elastic fibers may be fragmented into linear globules (beads on a string)
  • Often has irregular interdigitation into adipose tissue
Microscopic (histologic) images

AFIP images

Paucicellular fibrous tissue mixed with fat

Thick, densely eosinophilic elastin bands are mixed with collagen

Elastin bands have serrated edges

Verhoeff elastin stain

Contributed by Mark R. Wick, M.D.


Elastic stain

Case #46

Orcein (elastin) stain

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Mature adipose tissue

Branched and
coarse elastin

H&E and elastic stain

Verhoeff elastin stain highlights elastin fibers and the bead-like arrangement of the elastin globules

Cytology description
Positive stains
Electron microscopy description
Molecular / cytogenetics description
Differential diagnosis
  • Desmoid fibromatosis: more cellular, infiltrates skeletal muscle, no elastic fibers
  • Fibrolipoma: no elastic fibers
  • Nuchal fibroma: younger than 55 years, between scapula and vertebrae, dense collagen but no elastic fibers
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