Soft tissue

Fibroblastic / myofibroblastic


Last author update: 1 July 2012
Last staff update: 11 September 2023 (update in progress)

Copyright: 2002-2023,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Elastofibroma

Komal Arora, M.D.
Page views in 2022: 14,382
Page views in 2023 to date: 12,999
Cite this page: Arora K. Elastofibroma. website. Accessed October 2nd, 2023.
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

Contributed by David Cohen, M.D. and Victor Lee, M.D. (Case #46), Mark R. Wick, M.D. and AFIP

Paucicellular fibrous tissue mixed with fat

Densely eosinophilic elastin bands

Elastin bands have serrated edges


Verhoeff elastin stain

Elastic stain

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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