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Can J Neurol Sci. 2001 Feb;28(1):82-8.

Spinal angiolipoma.

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  • 1Division of Neurosurgery, Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.



Spinal epidural angiolipoma is a rare cause of spinal cord compression. We present a case and review the clinical presentation, radiological appearance, pathological aspects and treatment of this distinct clinico-pathological entity.


A case of a 46-year-old woman with a five-month history of progressive myelopathy affecting her lower extremities is presented. CT and MRI revealed a large epidural fat-containing mass compressing the spinal cord dorsally at the T7-T8 level. A laminectomy was performed with gross total resection of the lesion.


The patient's neurologic symptoms improved postoperatively. A two-year follow-up period has revealed no signs of tumor recurrence and no neurological deficit.


The diagnosis of spinal angiolipoma should be considered in the differential diagnosis of spinal cord compression. Magnetic resonance imaging is the investigation of choice. The surgical objective is complete excision but, for anterior lesions involving bone, an overly aggressive approach should be tempered by an awareness of the overall indolent natural history of so-called "infiltrating" spinal angiolipomas that are only partially excised.

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