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Acta Cytol. 2002 Jul-Aug;46(4):772-5.

Lipogranulomatous lymphadenopathy as a potential source of error in fine needle aspiration cytology. A case report.

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  • 1Departments of Pathology and Surgery, University Hospital, Guadalajara, Spain. jjheffernan@yahoo.com



Lipogranulomatosis refers to the presence, in lymph nodes and spleen, of lipid material arising from endogenous sources, such as tumors, hematomas, cholesterol deposits, fat embolism and fat necrosis. The histologic image is similar to that seen in lymph nodes after lymphography, with vacuolized histiocytes; round, empty spaces; and numerous multinucleated giant cells (MGC).


A 27-year-old woman was referred to our department for fine needle aspiration of bilateral inguinal lymph nodes. One year before, a giant cell tumor of the sacrum was surgically excised at another medical center. The aspirated material showed a normal lymphoid cell background in addition to several MGC and ill-defined cellular groups of mononuclear, histiocytelike cells admixed with mature lymphocytes. After the cytologic report was issued both nodes were surgically excised. The most remarkable histologic finding was the presence of sinus histiocytosis and multifocal subcapsular and sinusoidal lipogranulomas with numerous MGC.


Lipogranulomatous lymphadenopathy is a rare pathologic condition and may be responsible for smears with numerous MGC. This entity should be considered when evaluating lymph node aspirates from patients with neoplasia, particularly that with a giant cell component.

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