Pathology of the Pleura and Mediastinum

2018 Edition
| Editors: Timothy Craig Allen, Saul Suster

Lipoma, Mediastinal

  • Giovanni FalconieriEmail author
Reference work entry


Lipomas are benign tumors composed of mature fat. In the mediastinum, lipomas are exceedingly rare (Macchiarini and Ostertag 2004; Swanson 1991). Being most often documented in the anterior mediastinum, they are believed to be related to the normal thymic adipose tissue. Mediastinal lipoma may occur in the setting of lipoblastomatosis, a condition associated with obesity and abnormal systemic fat deposits.

Clinical Features

  • Incidence

    Less than 2% of all mediastinal tumors. However, this is an approximate estimation since these tumors are often difficult to separate from well-differentiated, lipoma-like liposarcoma and thymolipoma.

  • Age

    No significant age predilection.

  • Sex

    No sex predilection.

  • Site

    Commonly seen in the anterior mediastinum.

  • Treatment

    Complete surgical excision is the treatment of choice.

  • Outcome

    Surgical resection is curative.


Lipomas of the mediastinum are well-delimited firm masses with vague peripheral lobulation and a homogenous, yellow cut...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Macchiarini, P., & Ostertag, H. (2004). Uncommon primary mediastinal tumours. Lancet Oncology, 5(2), 107–118.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Swanson, P. E. (1991). Soft tissue neoplasma of the mediastinum. Seminars in Diagnostic Pathology, 8(1), 14–34.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of Trieste School of MedicineTriesteItaly